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Deep in the soul of every living thing is a natural hunger for love. Even our plants thrive on extra tender, loving care! And as humans we can satisfy this craving in many creative ways. Like celebrating Saint Valentine’s commitment to unite, in holy matrimony, those whose hearts were destined to beat as one.
Today the centuries-old romance of St Valentine’s Day is enjoyed by all whose hearts still beat a little faster when together, even after years of marriage, or also among many who may have just recently met. And those who have the imagination to celebrate, understand that ‘the food of love’ is a spirit of giving and sharing and making life more beautiful for another.
Working for The Salvation Army certainly sharpens our awareness of just how hungry for love are the fragile human we find ourselves caring for – undoubtedly guided to us by a loving God. While we give those in our care all the love possible, to mend their broken lives, their shattered hopes and their rejection, they also need the tangibles – like the sustenance of life-giving food, the security of safe havens, the physical care of medical expertise, the spiritual nurturing that gives them a belief in a higher power and, consequently, a belief in themselves.
Each St. Valentine’s Day, we note a softer, misty look in many of our senior citizens’ eyes and wonder if they’re reminiscing about their own long-ago feasts of love – and feel their sadness at now being forgotten. At the other end of the scale, while our tiny toddlers and often new-born babes are too young to understand the power of love, we know that even the gentlest caress touches their souls, tells them with certainty that they are loved, giving them security and confidence.
Among the thousands we have under our wing are all ages, shapes, sizes, colours and creeds. All have one thing in common – their hunger for love. Your support of The Salvation Army is a manifestation of your universal love. You are an angel, taking the needy under your wing. You make it possible for us to create sanctuaries – for babies, for children, for adults and the old, provide schooling, equip the untrained for jobs, help those addicted to drugs or alcohol fight their demons, see mothers and their children who have been crushed and scarred through abuse blossom as they grow whole again.
While you make it a fun and flirty St Valentine’s Day this February, I appeal to you to spare a thought for all those others who are starved of love. We know that your donation reflects a God-given gift for caring. Acknowledging the needs of your fellow humans – and doing something about it – singles you out as one of the Lord’s chosen. We thank you for your continued and generous support.
May God’s love continue to protect you and yours.
Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary, Southern Africa Territory