An oracle for Valentine’s Day

Published 12:52 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

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I think perhaps she’s a sage.

Although she doesn’t look like one. No long beard or flowing robes. Karin Fuller is more like a beautiful doe-eyed oracle. She’s quiet and gentle by nature, beloved by all, including countless wild creatures that cross her path. Usually in need.

I’m a fur-less part of her menagerie—as you will see. In fact, I suspect God is always sending people into our lives at different times for different needs.

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Karin and I met years ago as young writers at a writers’ conference. After that, we kept landing in different writers’ groups at the same time.

 I remember sitting across from her at one such meeting. She was now a columnist at a large newspaper.

“We’re having a contest,” she said to me. “You have to enter a column. You’ll win!” She added that she was the judge.

A tad bit awkward since she didn’t ask anyone else at the table. And, no. I definitely wasn’t doing it. She later told me she wasn’t going to throw the contest, she just knew I’d have the best entry.

We laugh now, because here I am—a faith columnist for the past seven years. In 2015, Preston Boutwell, a man I hardly knew, asked me to write an article for his small-town, Alabama newspaper. The answer was still no. Definitely not. 

The problem was that I owed him a favor. And that’s all he wanted. I’ve now been published over 4,000 times, even in USA Today. Who knew? Apparently, the oracle knew. Years ago.

Then there was my first attempt at a novel.

“Put this in competition,” the oracle said.

“You can’t be serious, Karin.”

But she was, and it won an award. I’m so grateful to her.

“You have to send your column to my paper.” That was next.

I did, and early last year they assigned me a wonderful editor. I lived happily ever after—almost. My editor moved to a new job and my column withered and died. 

“Karin, they don’t want me.”

“Yes, they do. Keep sending it!”

So, I did—what else can you say to a God-sent oracle.

But nothing happened, and I wanted to quit trying. It was humiliating. Karin kept guiding me and she was correct. Ultimately, I landed a new editor at a huge newspaper.

“You’ll love him,” Karin said. And I do. 

At some point, Karin began writing for “YOU have to do this!” she said. 

By now, you get that I had no choice—the oracle had spoken. 

Karin thinks Medium is the be all and end all. I don’t see it. I’ll tell you what I do see: Karin’s laugh-out-loud columns are there—one about her couch and one about her squirrel’s nuts. You’ll also find more of her work. 

Go to Tap the little magnifying glass, which means “search.” Then type in her name. I’m there, too, but I’m sure you got that.

Karin reads my column every week, and I read hers. We realized several days ago that we both forgot to write about Valentine’s Day.

How was that possible? Surrounded by heart-shaped candies, cakes, and cookies, we’d overlooked the holiday. Karin’s reason was clear—she lives in Atlanta and is now working in an intense environment. In fact, she’s concerned that her co-workers think she’s weak because she’s gentle and quiet. 

I reminded her of our friend who tends to be angry and impatient. He nearly died last week. Heart surgery and multiple bypasses brought him back to life.

“Perhaps the heart was never meant for a high-pressured world,” I said. “Or even bad tempers and impatience.”

According to iData Research, there are nearly one million heart surgeries every year in the U.S. More than ten million are expected in the next decade!

 “Literally, millions of broken hearts, Karin. Maybe the heart was designed to be pure and gentle like yours.”

As I said, I suspect God brings people into our lives at different times for different reasons. My longtime friend, Karin Fuller, is that person to me—an oracle, loved by all, especially creatures in need.

Monday is Valentine’s Day. Care for your loved ones. But also remember to care for that organ beneath your chest—the one that keeps you alive. Embrace goodness and kindness.

It’s easy to remember. Put these words on your mirror, by your bed, or where you work: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)

The Rev. Mathews (BA, MDiv, JD) is a faith columnist, seminary graduate, and the author of “Reaching to God.” Contact her at

Copyright © 2022 R.A. Mathews.  All rights reserved.