Tomorrow - even before the Super Bowl begins, we will be wondering how long winter will last. Those of us who take stock in the groundhog's shadow are probably the same people who look for and find four-leaf clovers in the grass.
We are a group of beings who tend to look elsewhere for our luck, our forecast and our reasons to cheer for one team or another. We find our mates through on-line services - when at the same time we denounce other cultures that contract within families to arrange for their children to marry at a future date.
We purchase Super Lotto tickets and vote for the politicians who make the most noise. We buy knock off accessories to pretend we are fashionable - and at the same time we expect someone else to take care of the homeless and the hungry we ignore on our own streets.
And during February we are made to feel guilty if we don't over indulge for that "special someone" in our lives. Young women expect to receive engagement rings, fancy dinners and "off the top" proposals on Valentine's Day....while young men feel pulled into the scenario because of the expectations.
Are we thinking for ourselves? Or are we being led like lemmings by commercialized schemes? Betcha Wall Street knows the answer.
We can remember our special friends and loved ones in loving, non-commercial thoughtfulness. This Valentine's Day why not invite them over for lunch, or take them a special home-made goodie - or send them a hand-written card. Make it something really special - something you did on your own.
Remember when you were in grade school and you made Valentine cards for your family? Do you remember how you felt when they opened those red envelopes and exclaimed over your words of love and the hearts you drew. Those cards meant so much more to them because you had spent time and thought on preparing them. Your compassion was evident in every crayon mark and heart cutout.
Those hand-made cards are probably inside a family photo album somewhere. And when your grandmother leafed through her album to remember family members who had passed, she would run her fingers lovingly over the card you made for her and remember how proud you were to present it to her.
Let's get back to the basics of caring and sharing. The Silent Unity calendar for this month speaks to the gentle and quiet ways to show our love - to share our lives with those we hold dear.
It says: "Come home to ... Compassion."
Elsewhere on the calendar page "I behold the Christ in others" is written. Even if you don't want to give money to someone on the street, you can look them in the eye and acknowledge their presence. Share the compassion of recognizing the divinity in all God's creation.
Beholding the Christ in others helps us remember that we are all beloved children of God - we are all One Family. And as Ruth said in 1:16 - "Your people shall be my people, and your God my God."
Let's make that our promise - this year. We can share loving moments all year long - not just on the 14th of February.