April 27, 2018
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (HCSB)
I’ve never heard the words I love you from my daughter’s lips. And I never will.
It’s one of the many things my 19-year-old, who has significant special needs, cannot do.
Yet, her high school still voted her homecoming queen. Not because she was the prettiest. Not because she was involved in the most activities. Certainly not because she received the best grades.
Rachel was voted homecoming queen because she loves well.
My girl, a blessing with significant intellectual and speech disabilities, specializes in loving others. A smile, a hug, a hello. She readily extends these gifts to everyone, and I mean everyone, she meets!
Her gifts of love aren’t grandiose, but they’re of great magnitude. They don’t cost much, but they’re priceless.
Too often, though, we discount their importance because they seem like such small gestures. They don’t appear to make much difference in the big picture of the world’s problems.
Tell that to the teenagers who voted Rachel queen!
Although my daughter will never be a preacher or even directly tell anyone about Jesus, her greeting proclaims, “You matter!”
She will never use words (either verbally or in print) to encourage others to hold onto Jesus during the hard times of life, but her smile whispers, “You’re loved!”
She will never be able to help people rebuild their lives after tragedy strikes, yet her hug assures, “You’re not alone!”
She’s a master at using the gifts God has given her to love well. Rachel doesn’t simply say she loves people; she demonstrates it. It’s as if God downloaded His command to “love one another” (John 13:34) directly into her little heart.
As followers of Christ, we all want to do great things for Him. Yet as Rachel demonstrates, the most meaningful things are often the smallest acts done with the greatest love.
As Mother Teresa once said, “In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
My daughter can’t do big things to help others; however, she shines brightly for Christ by smiling at the downcast, giving hugs to the aging, greeting the unwanted.
Want to make a difference in the world but don’t feel qualified? Follow my girl’s example: Do the little things you can do with great love. Let your small daily acts of love speak louder than words to reflect Jesus to a broken world.
Dear Lord, You have called me to love others as You have loved me. And You have blessed me with unique gifts to offer that love. Remind me of those gifts, and help me to boldly use using them to love large — even when I think I have little to give. In the end, all the glory and praise will rightly be given to You! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
John 15:12, “This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you.” (HCSB)
Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and gave himself for us, a sacrificial and fragrant offering to God.” (CSB)
1 John 3:18, “Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.” (HCSB)
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REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one small way you can show love to someone today? Brainstorm additional ways to love large with those seemingly “insignificant” gifts God has blessed you with (your ability to write, pray, speak, smile, carry, hug, sing, paint, organize, etc.).
© 2018 by Julie Sunne. All rights reserved.
Originally published Friday, 27 April 2018.