this love. As I type this, my heart questions and wanders and I am really not sure where this goes. But I want to write about this love. Bear with me.
As I sit here, by the dimly lit Christmas tree, the faint hum of the overworked radiator, a blizzard whirling outside. What a picturesque moment. Would this moment be here without love? What an odd question. This moment has called me into reflection. It is time to peruse the deepest file cabinets of the past 5 months, pull out the rotting files and sort through the papers that are quivering on the brink of breaking loose. Let us let these chains loose.
This love. This strange and peculiar love has brought me to this exact moment here. I sit here on a foreign couch with two tiny children deep asleep in their cozy rooms just above me. I am sitting here without wifi connection and sadly, with a lack of wifi connection, this is one of the times I choose to delve into books or force myself to sit without any access to my Facebook or Netflix. Hence, here we go.
These last five months. Busy, joyful, whirlwind, fear, indescribably challenging, introspective, overwhelming, strengthening. A few words that come to mind when I think of each day individually and the time as a whole.
If there’s one thing I wish for everyone, it would be for each person to relish and sink deeply into the moments we have felt love in the rocky and dark parts of our lives. To take these tiny yet magnanimous moments of contrasting goodness and absolutely dwell in them. So we can see the value of love.
It is one thing to feel love; perhaps in your friends regularly, or in the Lord’s presence, or when you succeed or in the love of your family and significant other. But have you tangibly recognized the love in your life in the craziness (pardon my lack for a better word, however, simply it is.) and treasured this?
If you are reading this, I beg that you look into your day and you find those little moments of love. The tender touch of a hand, the intent look of a stranger’s eyes as they listen to your request, even the seemingly necessary and culturally monotonous ‘how-are-you?’’s. I challenge you to feel these moments of goodness and tender shaking love.
Pain demands to be felt however love, this is a choice. Perhaps, this is the trick to being happy in this world. Choosing to love, choosing to accept love, choosing to give love. For I strongly believe that in the moments we sincerely give of ourselves, we are filled to the brim with overwhelming love. Perhaps I might go so far as to say this. When we give ourselves, we have nothing else to look to except in the way that Christ has OVERFLOWED into your life. Get this- we have the privilege to experience the same gift of self that Christ gave for us over 2000 years ago. Like we get to share in this experience, if we choose.
This is what I have learned. I spent hours per week devoting myself to my work this semester and I can look back in retrospect seeing the little conversations I should have grasped onto or the people I should have held onto a little tighter. I see that in my school work I should have chosen to seek knowledge, uniting myself to the love of what I was learning. I should have taken the leap instead of slinking back into the shadows of comfort, o’ my Lord, fear has such a deafening and paralyzing grip. These are the should have’s.
The did’s. I learned so freaking much about friendship this year. No cliche, no bull sh*t. Friendship-the real kind. The ‘sacrifice-what-feels-good, tear stained cheeks, gut wrenching pain and laughter that makes your heart hurt.’ kind. Friendship is hard but HOLY moly, is it worth the pain and tears and suffering and RISKS!
If you listen to anything, listen now. If you want to ask that girl to have coffee or you love her handwriting or you just love her sense of style. Even the way she laughs or smiles. Go do it, tell her. It’s worth it and I promise you, it’s a risk you’ll never regret.
It’s a funny thing that we are even scared of these risks to love others and to affirm others. Why? Why do we fear this?
I promise you, in these moments of discomfort and service in the teeniest tiniest ways, our rewards will be multiplied. Second, do not be afraid to become friends with those people who might be ‘out of your norm’. I know you thought of that one person while reading that sentence. Take a risk for love. Perhaps this person might hang out with different people than you do, maybe he has different areas of passion or ideas about life. Maybe she intimidates you. You have this moment, so why don’t you go? You literally have nothing to lose.
Allow yourself to grow in ways that will make you discover the beauty of things in life you never noticed, can you imagine the privilege of getting to see life through the eyes of another person? Let me tell you, friendship is NOT a call for those specifically called to it. No. Friendship is the cry of humanity! We desire love!! We desire to love others and be in love with others. If you are alone, I really promise that you are not because I just know that someone out there is searching for YOU.
Someone wants to hear the words that reverberate in your heart, the words that get you out of bed every morning. Someone needs to feel the love that you may feel you lack. The loneliest people on this earth, understand love in the deepest and most intimate way. As they understand the lack of love in their life-they will give and continue to give because they know. Please please seek those people who need you. You may need them as well.
So this love. I have learned of this love that sacrifices and serves. The last five months have taught me that this love is why I am here right now. And just as Someone died for me and you on that cross and suffered the most excruciating painful torture to exist today… just so I could have the opportunity to love. He does not force, no He allows me to choose this. Love is a choice we have to make each day. But I remember the cross and for some reason, there is nothing but This love that defines my will to wake up each day. His love is this love.
I would like to conclude with this story from Mother Teresa. I heard this story from David Scott in his fantastic book; The Love That Made Mother Teresa.
One day in Calcutta she took a woman in off the street. This woman suffered as her body was infested with open sores that were infected with bacteria and bugs. Mother Teresa patiently bathed her, cleaned her and dressed her wounds. The entire time the woman never stopped shrieking at her with swear words, insults and threats. Mother Teresa only smiled at her.
Finally, the woman snarled, “Sister, why are you doing this? Not everyone behaves like you. Who taught you?” Mother Teresa said simply, “My God taught me.” The woman asked to know her God. Mother Teresa kissed her on the forehead and replied, “You know my God. My God is called love.”