“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries, avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” -C.S Lewis
I have witnessed some pretty incredible examples of love during the past couple months. Parents selling everything that they have besides the clothes that they are wearing to perhaps give their child a chance to have surgery that will save or drastically improve their life. A doctor taking time to sit and look a mother in the eye to explain to her that is’s not her fault that her baby’s lip and palate have clefts in them, that she is a good mother, and that many children don’t even survive these anomalies because of severe malnutrition. A day crew member sitting up for hours at night when everyone else is sleeping to comfort a mother who is worried about her child’s operation the next day. People who have left their homes for five or ten or twenty-six years to love people on this ship without any monetary gain.
Most weeks I vacillate between thinking I’m doing pretty alright in the loving people well department, and feeling sadly inadequate when I recognize my frequently selfish thought patterns. Sometimes I can dwell on feelings of guilt and come up with plans to change my attitude and be a better, more loving person. But I know that love is not just feeling differently towards a person but displaying it in how I live and act, even if I don’t say anything or even speak your language.
I’m thankful for my Savior, who has allowed me to first begin to understand and experience real love that never changes. I’m so thankful for the people in my life who have loved and do love me well and allow me to tangibly experience and grow myself through their encounters. I know that I am where I am supposed to be right now. I know that the work that has been started in me will continue. And I know that God has good things worked out for me on this journey.