The last year I led VBS as a former Director of Children's Ministry the theme was called Treasured. The theme song had us all jumping and singing. It is a beautiful memory to think of looking out at all the kids singing, "I am a priceless treasure. God knows me, God hears me, God is my comfort.... I am a child of God. I know that I am loved... I am a priceless treasure."
More recently I have found a more grown up version of a song called Treasured. LeAnn Rimes created an album called Chant in November of 2020 as a result of a personal journey of severe anxiety and depression. The song says, "I am loved by the One that made me, I am held by the One that made me, I am treasured by the One that made me, yeah, the One that made me loves me so." (You can read more about Rimes' journey here.)
This past week I received an email from a shopping site I follow, that said, "We know Valentines can be hard. Here is a button to opt out of receiving Valentines emails from us." I appreciated this gesture, and certainly understand the care behind this and other similar special occasion oriented emails, but it also reminded me how many people don't feel loved. Not just because of Valentine's Day, but in general.
I wish we all had the bright eyes of those kids at VBS, dancing and singing at the top of their lungs, being reminded every day for a week that they are beloved, treasured, and loved. A priceless treasure.
If you need a reminder, maybe check out one of these songs I've linked above. And even if you don't, because you are fortunate enough to be wrapped in love daily, you might want to lean in and listen to the happy reminder.
Love isn't about one day on the calendar where the prices of roses goes up exponentially and samplers of chocolates are on display. Love is an every day feeling that changes everything we experience. I hope over the course of this next week you remember how loved you truly are. I hope you can look at the people around you and really see them. I hope you know the feel of a good sturdy hug.
Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God, love others, AND love yourself.
You are treasured, you are loved, you are priceless.
If you or someone you know is in need of critical support, remember that 988 is the number for the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. No one should ever feel unloved.