What Love Looks Like in Someone Else’s Shoes

Love is as love does.

It’s easy to talk about loving those who are suffering or in need. No one in your sphere of affluency would disagree with the idea of showing love to others. In fact, you might receive some wonderful accolades as a result of such talk.

Yet the step to live it out proves to be more difficult. Doubts, fears, and lack of pure motivation may all stifle a movement in the loving direction. But with time and peer encouragement, you may finally step out and do something. You action and sharing your story with others could even result in hero status in a culture dead set on selfish pursuits. But, you’ve done your duty. Now it’s time to move on.

But consider this love from the shoes of those in need.

They hear your great speeches about loving those around you. They see others coming around you and agreeing. Hope may initially well up within that there might just be someone who actually cares about them. With time, though, they see no fruit from the seeds planted, and become increasingly cynical.

Yet, they see you overcome your inaction to actually meet a need. They receive this cautiously. Could there be strings attached? Is this just another hand out, or are there really interested in giving me a hand up? They want to grow beyond the need, but this requires faithfulness and perseverance on the part of the one helping. When the loving action stops, hope and dignity are lost in the darkness.

Jesus’ love looked so different.

God moved into our neighborhood (John 1:14). He didn’t just learn about needs. He lived with the people and felt their pain. He didn’t just see our need and die on the cross as a one-time quick fix. Jesus lived a life of love. Even when He ascended, He promised to be with us always. The Spirit dwells within to continually apply gospel love to our lives until Jesus one day returns visibly to complete His lifelong loving pursuit of us.

I wonder how that kind of love would be perceived in the shoes of those in need.

I wonder why they don’t see this reflected in the lives of those who call themselves followers.

I wonder if today our idea of love will begin to change.

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