Last week we celebrated Valentine's Day. Love was shared with family and friends, and gifts and cards were exchanged. We've now returned to our daily activities.

As often said at Christmas, "May the spirit of goodwill last all year." And now we might say, "What a joy it would be to experience love even on an ordinary day." Some of us do experience that, but perhaps being reminded to love on any day might make it happen.

The Good Book is in many ways a love story. It is about God's love for creation, his loving presence with the people of Israel to bring them out of slavery to the Promised Land. Covenants were made to establish an abiding faithfulness one with the other. The love relationship continued and was keenly seen in the person of Jesus. The central theme of his life was love, including the belief that God is Love. "God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them." (1 John 3:16)

While most of us experience love daily and have a sense of Love beyond our own expressions of it, others feel lonely. They long to receive a loving embrace that could encourage the timid soul inside of them to become the person they would like to be. To believe in ourselves can take time. It may take someone to believe in us before we can believe in ourselves.

Coming to this place of love for one's self can be a challenge. But it can start simply. Instead of waiting to be loved, look at the beauty in others. Look for what is remarkable and loving in someone else. Look for it not only in people but discover beauty in a painting, the pleasure of music, and the fragrance of a blossom. Be in touch with creation and all that surrounds you -- in the world, the Creator made for you to enjoy. And look to help someone in need. Perhaps what you want is what the other needs.

Be gentle. Don't press yourself upon others to gain attention. Soften your approach. Listen instead of talking. Try the tender approach, and you may receive a loving embrace in response. May you find what you desire.