“Because a loveless world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world”… (John 14:23a MSG)
This scripture is a bit (or a lot) out of context, but since one of goals this month is to keep my eyes open to be kind, it struck a real chord with my in my devotional yesterday.
A loveless world is a sightless world. Here’s a cliche example, but stick with me. Ever have a bad breakup? I don’t mean “bad” breakup in that it was loud or angry or messy, I mean “bad” in that it sucked to your core. Sucked your life out like you physically felt your heart breaking. You were missing love. You felt the lack of it, but overall, you just couldn’t feel. Food didn’t taste as good, activities weren’t fun, the sun didn’t seem to shine as bright. Your senses were just…dull.
A loveless world is a sightless world. Without making time to share kindness, love yourself, or even accept kindness from others, we can’t see what is really happening around us. We don’t notice the happiness or excitement a friend has over a new love interest, job, or even their success at the gym. Without love, we don’t notice the poverty or the hurt or the darkness that exists amongst some. Without love, we have no sight.
The pictures here are from Heather’s Camp, which is a camp we (my sorority) helped with every summer. It was a three day camp that allowed children and teens with visual impairments to enjoy all the aspects of camp in an environment that accommodated their vision. Fishing, horseback riding, swimming, dancing, s’mores making (way more dangerous for the counselors!), and even archery. Service for Sight and Aid to the Blind. These campers were always so full of life and love, despite not having their full physical sight. Sometimes, it felt like they could almost see more.
Something else I realized this week is the importance of welcoming another person’s kindness to our ability to love more. I was going into the gym early. Long day ahead. Packed everything – like work bag, lunch bag (3 meals), gym bag, after work bag – everything. Rushing around, I just wanted to park downtown, get to the gym, and get to work. Without keeping my eyes open for loving acts, I probably would have been annoyed by the guy wishing me a good workout in the elevator at 6am like he genuinely cared I had a good run. I would have missed the girl who saw me drop my parking voucher. She didn’t need to pick it up and come find me. She saved me a lost ticket fee all because she took 15 extra seconds. So much kindness before 6:00am. Fortunately, my eyes were open to see it, and it changed my day.
Anyway, I wasn’t really sure where this post was going today, but that phrase has just stuck with me. 1 Corinthians 13 even says it…without love, I am nothing. The end of the chapter (in the Message) is just amazing…
“But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation:
Trust steadily in God,
And the best of the three is love.”
1 Corinthians 13:13