A dear friend of mine recently returned home from a four-month stay in Peru where she spent her time there mainly teaching math in a small girl’s school in the mountains. The stories she brought home of the students sent my heart reeling. “Everyone there has a sad story,” she said. “There is so much hurt, so much suffering.”
She told a few stories of the students she worked with whose lives were in danger on a daily basis, who had been severely abused, and whose parents had disappeared. I don’t have the heart to share details, but just to say this: there was not a dry eye in the room when she finished. My heart was so torn for these poor girls who are so desperately in need of love. They are so hungry for love!
But the Holy Spirit whispered to me, “Yes, they are hungry for love. But so is your next-door neighbor. So is the girl you sit next to in Biology. So is the young man who will be waiting your table at dinner tomorrow. And most particularly, so is your family.” The need for love is woven so intricately into the fabric of our being. Those who reject it the most need it the most.
This is our call: To Love. To TRULY Love. Love is sacrifice, and love is not easy. Love is a crucifix; Love hurts. True Love is hard, yes, but true Love brings the greatest joy, the greatest peace, and the greatest fulfillment. When you give up your own desires for the good of another, then you love them. Love is not taking; Love is giving. Love is not an emotion or a feeling. Love is action.
When reading the Gospels, one may be surprised to notice that not once did Jesus stop and say, “Hey, I love you.” He didn’t have to. Why not? Well, actions speak louder than words, so…
… He acted. He didn’t say that He loved, He showed that He loved. He gave of Himself in the most complete, total way. He gave His life.
This is the call I heard from the stories my friend brought back from Peru – the call to Love. There is so much hunger for love all over the world. Look around you now – there is someone nearby who needs YOUR Love.
Die to yourself, and Love like Christ.