THE ART OF CARING
My prayer is that in all the busyness of life, in the abundance of urgent needs and priorities, we don’t lose sight of how important love is—both in the big picture and in our daily choices and priorities. Sometimes we forget that all our accomplishments are nothing without love. “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.”
1 If we don’t have love, our sacrifice and hard work isn’t worth all that 1. 1 Corinthians 13:2–3 NLT much and won’t bring forth the right results.
Learning to care for others is an art, and it’s one that there is always room to grow in. For example, learning how to manifest love for others in the ways that they appreciate and need, how to nurse them when they’re ill or afflicted physically, how to encourage them when they’re discouraged, how to support them when they’re busy, how to be a friend when they’re lonely or a safeguard when they’re weak; learning how to support others spiritually with faith and hope that overlooks their mistakes.
One of the beautiful things about love is that it adapts to the need. Depending on the occasion, love might mean being quiet and respecting someone’s need for silence. At other times, it might mean being more outgoing toward them and talkative. There’s no set formula, so part of the work of loving is finding out what the need is and how to meet it.
It’s motivating to think about what a commitment of love will do, and what a difference it will make for you personally, because you will be benefiting as well from God’s love flowing through you. Your spirit will be strengthened and fulfilled in new ways. It will create a vacuum for God’s blessings and miracles.
May God’s love be with you today and always. Maria Fontaine and her husband, Peter Amsterdam, are directors of the Family International, a Christian community of faith.