8.13.2012

Transformative love

I roll out of bed, rub the sleep out of my eyes, throw on leggings and a shirt and maybe make a pit stop at the bathroom. I open the fridge, mix up a protein drink, break off a packet of medicine and head out the door. Onto the scooter I go, a few right turns, a couple of lefts and there I am. She's not waiting for me on the sidewalk so I know. I prepare myself for what waits me and most of the time, I am right. Down the market and to the tracks. A train passes so close that it nearly knocks me over. When it ends, I see her. She is crouched down and my stomach twists as our eyes meet. The hankie drops from her mouth, she cringes with shame. She is getting high. I don't know what pains me deeper the fact that she is addicted to huffing or the look in her eyes when I see her doing it.

I can recall the first morning I saw her huffing, the tears streamed down my face the whole way home. I questioned why I bothered to treat her physical illness when there is so much more beyond that to combat. But I already know the answer. The reason I do it, I continue to meet her every day, goes far beyond the medical aspects of treating a highly communicable and deadly disease. Its because I love her so much, and I don't know any other way of showing that love except this. I would meet her every morning from now until eternity if it helped her see the value in her existence.

She needs to survive this. The world, the slum in all of its madness, completely fades away when we sit in front of each other. Sometimes it feels like it is just the two of us as we read each others eyes and I can feel how much she cares, how much she is grateful. Some mornings, how much she can be ashamed. I need her to beat this illness in her lungs so we can move onto other things.  I need her to know she is loved despite imperfections, despite circumstance, despite downfalls, mistakes, addictions and anything else. Day by day, through consistency, reliability, smiles, hugs, medicine, food, water, laughter, she is loved.

 I guess that what I have learned, what I hope you can know, is that love transcends any word you can speak out loud. It is nice, yes, to tell someone 'you are loved' but it has even greater power when you show them. Love is transformative. It has the power to change the course of a life, a community, a world. When you live your love through action, it seems to me, that its power multiplies. I am hoping that it multiplies so much that it takes away the shame in this woman's eyes and instead lights a path that ends in freedom from the illness of addiction. I believe in a Love that is that strong. I challenge you to recognize a moment today in which you can serve someone who didn't ask it of you. Love someone who does not expect to be loved by you. Open yourself up quietly through service today, even if in just one small moment because that, even that, has great value.







4 comments:

  1. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. Beautiful writing and a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing, and for the challenge.

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  2. Oh lady, I'm glad that you love, and show and share it so openly and honestly. Sometimes love hurts too, but I'm glad that you continue to help despite it. High five, lady. You're a star :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Elly! The most rewarding times are the ones you stick through even when it is rough!

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