I have found in my 34 years of life that love is not truly communicated until I have put it into action. Love that leaves a lasting impact is rarely done at a time that is convenient to my flesh. I have learned this concept even more so as a mom, being a parent will give you a crash course in this concept if nothing has up to this point. My sleepless nights came well before the baby came, for me this was love as I sacrificed the comfort of my body to grow another human being. Maddie was a colicky baby and love was walking the halls all hours of the day and night.
I have learned for someone to truly feel loved by me it has required commitment of some kind. I remember my sister getting ready for her sons first birthday. She was working full time as a kindergarten teacher and trying to make her sons first birthday as special as she could. One of the things she needed doing was for her kitchen floor to be washed, everyone kept telling her it was fine, no one would notice. But, I could tell that for whatever reason, her floor was important to her. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t important to me, it didn’t matter that I was tired, it mattered to me, that it mattered to her. So, I found the mop bucket, filled the bucket with hot soapy water, got the scrub brush, and got on my hands and knees and got that floor washed. It mattered to her and I could see in her eyes when it was done, that something in her could finally be peaceful. Love was washing her floor.
All three of my kids at one time or another has woken us up with the sound no parent wants to hear. The sound of gut wretching sounds, throw up all over the walls, the bed, them, and eventually…me. Love came into action as we cleaned the child up, cleaned ourselves up, and prepared for a Dora/Wild Krats/Bob the builder marathon, with a puke bucket on our lap. Praying for God to bring rest to the weary sick child. In these moments as gross as they are my kiddo’s learn safety, they learn how to care for another sick person, they are experiencing how to give care to another person. They are learning through the thick, thin, and gross we will be there for them. Love was standing watch over my sick kiddo so they knew they were safe and cared for.
Our neighbor last fall lost his wife to cancer, they didn’t ask for meals, they didn’t ask for special treats. But, my heart was moved and so I would bring over meals as often as I could. The first time I did it they were shocked, but over time they knew why I knocked on their door. Love was a hot meal they didn’t have to prepare themselves.
I experienced love when it wasn’t convenient at all for those around me. I had been hurt and wounded emotionally and needed time to heal. I was pulled from full time horse duty, to part time horse duty and given time to healing. I was needed to help run the horse program in our busiest season of the year. Love was put into action when I was allowed to step away from a busy season and find healing. This time of healing changed my life by giving me tools I would need as a wife and a mommy, and has given me the desire to love and mentor others to freedom.
When we invited our friends to stay with us we weren’t really sure if it would be a few days or a few weeks, but we knew it was something God had laid on our hearts. Mark and I shared the same peace in being a place for them to rest and find shelter. We also knew God had asked us to do it. In this circumstance love looks like giving up space, sharing toys, listening ears, compassionate hearts, and breaking bread together.
The biggest acts of love I have experienced, witnessed, and given have been when it hasn’t been convient or easy, but each and every time it has been worth every sacrifice that was required. My prayer is that I will not grow weary in doing good and that when I go see my heavenly father he will say, “well done good and faithful servant”.
I must also say that love in action is not successfully done without abiding in Christ. It does require time spent with the father and asking him to show me the needs of others. While in the midst of a love offering that ends up taking more time than I anticipated, it also requires an attitude adjustment at times. It’s not always easy, convient, and it requires sacrifice, but it is well worth it! I pray you too will continue to put love into action.