“I love you John” my four-year old daughter said to the elderly man I take care of. He didn’t say anything.
“I said, I love you John” with a little more ‘umf’ in her voice. He kept walking away.
“Mom- John didn’t say anything. He didn’t say he loves me” she said with suspicion. Obviously, she did not understand why someone we cared for, wouldn’t say those three important words.
To prevent further uncertainty in that four-year old soul of hers, and to stir up empathy in his, I said: “Hey, John- Sahar said she loves you. I think you hurt her feelings when you don’t say it back.”
“I-I-I-I-I-I love you Sahar” he stuttered. He kept walking away.
Immediately, she smiled and did a full twirl with her arms wide open. It was evident. She found what she was looking for.
Since then, this same scenario has happened quite a few times; but yesterday was different.
After my four-year old told John she loves him, with eye contact and a smile, without any directions from me, he declared “I love you too!”
That moment was a breakthrough!
The Holy Spirit revealed something profound to me this morning that I hadn’t considered before. My four-year old had displayed what God wants to see in us. To love those who need love but aren’t easy to love. There are millions of people who are so hard to love that society gives up on them. We’ve developed this narcissist type of attitude: I don’t have time for this. Shoot, if he/she doesn’t want my love, so be it. I will not force something they obviously don’t want.
But what if Jesus had this same type of attitude? Where would you and I be? Because I can say with confidence that we were not the easiest ones to love. But God being who He is, a God of love, made it His mission to show you and me, that: I truly truly truly do love you!
The Parable of the Lost Sheep found in Matthew 18:10-14 describes the importance of showing that one lost sheep, that he/she is not forgotten. Love will bring back the lost because it’s the weapon that conquers fear. A little child never gave up in professing her love to someone who didn’t reciprocate it back. She didn’t allow offense and feelings to hinder her mission. She pursued a need with determination- and she won! John won! Jesus won! Love won! This is the face of victory!
Love today, those you see left behind and forgotten. Through our actions and declaration of love, their hearts will be mended internally to receive what God’s trying to give them.