The conversation started with talk of colonoscopies and coin-operated restrooms. Clear signs that this is an old crowd. Doesn't matter how old I get, I never seem to catch up!
At some point, though, we came to our senses - after all, we were having brunch - and directed the conversation towards the "question:"
What makes you feel loved?I had a general answer about simply being noticed, but when the green box from ProFlowers arrived this morning, I got more specific.
You see, I was just about to go out to this fellowship session of Community Bible Study but heard a knock at the door and took a few minutes to put the two dozen roses in water and food packet. I mentioned to the group that flowers for Valentine's Day make me feel loved. And I shared about my sister-in-law, whose one-year anniversary is approaching later this month. I was quick to add that my husband has always given me flowers, even having them delivered one time in high school French class, so I know he isn't motivated by guilt or fear of missing an opportunity.
Then the young mother next to me said her husband used to give flowers when they were dating but not anymore. She'd rather he use the $50 or so on important things, like the electric bill. And then all the ladies fell in with opinions that flowers aren't important, they only die, and they'd rather feel loved every day instead of only on one day (did they think I was saying that?) and that Valentine's Day is made up by the card companies to sell things.
Phew! My head was spinning and I sure wasn't feeling loved anymore. And then they turned back to me and asked,
"Does he get you anything on Valentine's Day itself, like chocolate?"Wait, I thought we just got done saying that the day isn't significant, but a marketing ploy? Instead, I just said, "I'll let you know whether he gets me more the next time we meet."
After grace was said, a sunny woman remarked that she'd once eaten with a couple who said grace after the meal as well. She thought that was unusual and perhaps indicated that the food was good. Everyone chimed in on how superfluous it was.
"You thank God for the food whether it's any good or not!"and other such moralizing.
For those who'd never heard of such a thing, I said it's an old-fashioned practice that one finds in the mid-west and the woman confirmed that they were in the mid-west at the time. I didn't say it was Catholic1 but I've only ever heard Catholics pray after meals. When I lived in Ohio, a co-worker took me home to her German immigrant small town and her Catholic mother prayed after breakfast. Like face-in-hands prayer. I think she thought I would join in but I had no idea what she was doing.
Rather than a lecture or exhortation, since we've finished 1 John and haven't yet started 1 Peter, we had a "music ministry" which means just singing songs. I'd noticed last week that the NIV pew Bibles had all been replaced with the ESV translation at this Baptist church where we meet. Couldn't wait for the 2011 NIV edition? I only knew one song, "I Love You, Lord" from my "other life" in Campus Crusade. But, sheesh, that's a twenty year old song.
1 this line might give some Christians trouble: "May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace."