On February 14th of this year, we celebrated our culture’s commercialized day of love. There are a lot of people that resent Valentine’s Day and I can say that in the past, I have been one of these critics. This year, however, my perception of this so-called celebration changed, and I was reminded of a truer, more beautiful love.
A couple days before February 14th, the lady Fellows received an invitation to meet the gentlemen Fellows in the Trinity Church parking lot at 5:15pm on Valentine’s Day evening, dressed to impress. We were expecting a simple spaghetti dinner at the church—a small, yet incredibly kind gesture, just to show they remembered us. What we got was so much more!
February 14th, 2015 6:00pm:
Two handsomely dressed Fellows men chauffeured us to the Stamper’s lake house. We arrived to luminaries lighting our way to the door, lights strung across the ceilings, a beautiful table with white linens and candlesticks, and hand-made place settings for all. There were flowers for each of us with a name plate the men had made themselves, fancy printed menus that the guys had cleverly composed, and a beautiful spread of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. We were served a delicious three-course meal including Caprese salad, steak, salmon, and German chocolate cake with raspberry sorbet, all planned and prepared by the Fellows men. Dinner was followed by an evening of swing dancing, laughter, and walks down memory lane with some old classic hits. It was like one of those sweet, heart-warming scenes out of a movie.
Chivalry is not dead, people! We were blown away! When I think about it, it wasn’t that they put together such a fabulous evening. It wasn’t that it was so elaborate and perfect that we could not have imagined better. While these things are true, I think the real reason we were so overwhelmed by the guy’s incredible acts of service was because, in that moment, we truly felt LOVED.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. We love because He first loved us.”
1 John 4:10-12, 19
One particular point came to mind in reading this passage. God’s exceptional love is made complete through the love that His children have for one another. If we love others with the love God demonstrated through sending Jesus, we glorify Him and accomplish His purposes of going to the cross. Jesus died and rose again to defeat sin, but He walked among us to show us what true love looks like. Love establishes a reverent posture towards Him and His creation. Vertical: His love for us, horizontal: our love for one another, THE CROSS: Complete.
The joy we felt coming away from this beautiful evening was a response to that complete and perfect love that the Lord desires for us to find in community. Because He first loved us, we are able to love each other, and that is a love worth celebrating. Commercialized love is fleeting, but I doubt that any of us will forget the way that our incredible brothers loved us so thoughtfully and tangibly that night.
-Mary Kathryn Sawyer (Fellows '15)