When I think of the term love, I immediately think of ease, in the sense that even if we are loving someone through an argument, disagreement, or trial, it always has a positive outcome; it is always leading to something redeeming. I initially associate it with an action that is poured out on people we care about, a commitment, a word to describe things or activities that bring us joy, and an equivalent to what God is and what He endlessly gives. But, I feel like these last few months, my eyes have been opened to a different kind of love, a harder kind of love…a love with a result that might not be seen, except in your own character.
Jason and I have become closer than ever since the end of December. We have been faced with things that are uncomfortable, unfortunate, and completely out of our control. We have become aware of the amount of hurt and angry people that reside all around us. Our hearts have been broken as we watch, yet we are so grateful because we are reminded of how we can pray and love behind the scenes. After my accident, I fully came to realize that fire fighters and first responders have one of the most service-filled yet difficult jobs. My family and I went to the station to give the biggest hugs and thank yous to those who cared for me so quickly and diligently, and for getting me to the hospital in the best care. They mentioned to us that they had never met anyone that they had rescued and cared for. What a realization! Can you imagine? They put their hearts and deepest efforts into saving lives, yet they almost never know the outcome. What incredible love.
This picture has been running through my head so much recently. A consistent conversation around us is the fact that so many experience hate, bullying, and division on social media. Our initial response is wanting to defend or have the last word, but in this scenario, how can we love? How can we love behind the scenes, even when no one may see? How can we pray and serve people we don’t know who are living in a state of loneliness and hopelessness? In fact, they most likely will be those that are firing hate your way. My dear friend here in LA shared this beautiful piece of wisdom with me last year: you can’t have animosity towards someone you pray for. Prayer is so powerfully loving, healing, and redeeming. How can we start praying for people who may be trying to diminish our value? If someone we don’t know has the potential power to cut so deeply into our well being through words, then we have the power in the opposite way to love on them whole-heartedly from afar.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has an opinion. It has increased my vision of love to step back and look at the big picture. Hurt people hurt people, and what they need more of is love. What can you do today to love on someone that least excepts it? Who can you pray for that has hurt you?
Photos by Christy Johnston.
OUTFIT: white top (c/o)