I have seen love on the face of an Indian professor who gives up every vacation and nearly every weekend to travel by boat to the remote Sundarban Islands where he works to improve the lives of impoverished people.
I have seen love in the eyes of an Ethiopian woman who leaves her family and comfortable city living to help a nomadic tribe get access to water.
I have seen love in the face of a bold Kenyan woman who worked until the day she died, helping her fellow Africans develop sustainable agriculture practices, and who dared to tell North Americans that they should stop trying to fix Africa.
I have seen love at the funeral of an elderly man who left behind an incredible legacy for his family, having volunteered at over one hundred organizations in his lifetime.
I have seen love in the day to day commitment of a friend who listens deeply to the stories of the marginalized of our city, and works to create a safe place for them to be.
I have seen love in the determined set of the jaw of a passionate young man in a village in India who risks his life to rescue young girls sold into sex slavery.
Love is not just a romantic sentiment reserved for Valentine’s cards. Love is action. Love is risk. Love is blood, sweat, and tears. Love is sacrifice.
Love dares to hope, dares to get involve, dares to be vulnerable, dares to surrender.
Love gives up the need to be right, sacrifices the need to be powerful, and surrenders to the needs of us all.
Love shows up in Tahrir Square.
Love lifts a ladle in the soup kitchen.
Love does the laundry and gets up in the middle of the night.
Love goes to the hospital.
Love doesn’t give up on people when they’ve hit rock bottom.
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Cor. 13)
Don’t talk to me of sentimental love. Give me REAL love.
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For more on love, visit the Love Sparks Blogging Festival.
And be sure to check out the party (with giveaways!) at Dirty Footprints Studio (where I’ll be part of an upcoming Art Journaling workshop.)