Having come to an astounding realization yesterday, I decided to do the only responsible thing and issue a PSA. Everyone is welcome. My realization was that people aren’t nice to each other, and my PSA is that we should be nicer. I wonder why more people don’t think of this.
I think most of the problems of the world are tied together in many ways and all stem from the same thing (sin). It occurred to me that it is likely that our fear (fear of rejection, fear of being hurt, etc.) may also be actively damaging others. *mind blown* If we’re too afraid to tell our friends that we care about them, to tell an old mentor that they changed our life, to tell that stranger that her eyes are lovely, well, those people aren’t hearing the kind thoughts we’re having. Without hearing them, they can’t be expected to know, so they must live on without the encouragement of a kind word.
So that fear that eats away at our insides is actually hollowing out another person’s heart, as well. Yet who among us would choose to hurt someone else if it was revealed to us what we were truly doing? If you could know how positively that person would react when you complimented them, reminded them of their worth, or simply connected to them in a human way, would you do it?
Yet…not everyone will respond positively. Out of awkwardness, indifference, or rudeness born of pain, some people will hurt you after you try to be kind to them.
And it doesn’t matter. At all. We’re servants, not protectors of self. Servants often can be trod upon, disrespected, ignored, humiliated, rejected. No, none of those things are right, but our right acting is not determined by others first acting rightly toward us. We care for others firstly to serve God and only secondly to actually serve others. As God has instructed us to love others, He will not ignore, humiliate, or reject you for doing His will, even if other people in their sin may.
Let’s care for each other anyway. Let’s ask someone how they’re doing and truly want to know the answer. Let’s offer to pray for someone and then pray passionately. Let’s risk our pride for someone else. Let’s serve someone in as dramatic a way as being vulnerable in front of them.
After all, we know the true Strength of our lives; of whom shall we be afraid?
To finish this, here’s something I wrote about love, whether you interpret it to be eros, storge, or philia.
If you could know how much I love you, I think it would make you peer into the depths of your soul. Would it not make you wonder at the beauty of your own humanity that we are capable of such love? Would it make you shiver to know how gentle, how forgiving eyes can be when they look on you? Would it make you love all your brethren more, having seen the amazement that is love? If you could know how much I love you, I think it would make you pause and look at the sky. For how else but by likening my love to the multitude of the stars could one know the abundance of my love? How else could the glow of my heart be understood? How else could the glory of love be seen? If you could know how much I love you, I think it would make you believe in God. For how else but for the existence of a glorious God could one feel what I feel? How else could one be willing to give what I would give to you? How else could one love if one had not been loved already?
Go, stare into the depths of your murky, shimmering soul. Understand who you are and who you are not. Go, observe the stars in their slow and worshipful dance. Dwell in their beauty and let your breath be stolen. Go, serve your God. Know Him, humble yourself to Him, and realize what love is. When you can look yourself in the face, when you can glory in the beauty of the world, and when you know your God, that is when you can look into my eyes, see the truth of what I feel, and say “I love you too.”
That is the gift of love. See this love I have for you and take that journey. Journey through yourself, the world, and never forget to end with God. Without God, your love-journey is meaningless, for in Him is love. Take that journey. Some parts may be difficult, you may thirst and hunger and grow fatigued, but it is like nothing you have ever known, and I would be honored if you would let me travel with you.
Let’s be less afraid of caring for others.