She came in because nothing went as planned. Her only support was a girlfriend that said “whatever you decide.” A child did not fit into her life portrait.
As I scrolled through Instagram and Facebook this week, I was reminded just how shallow our view of love really can be. While one woman boasts a dozen roses and her favorite wine from her favorite someone, another laments the fact that she didn’t get the chocolate she wanted or how she felt forgotten. I’m led to wonder what Jesus might post on Facebook for Valentine’s Day. In a world where the word love means little more than fleeting emotion, how would He reclaim the word to bring it back to its essence?
While 1 Corinthians 13 is considered the love chapter, Matthew 5 reminds us how God’s scale is tipped in favor of those who have said yes to mourning, yes to humility, yes to justice, yes to mercy, yes to purity, yes to peace, and yes to persecution. Wait… what?
All those words? They make up the puzzle that defines true love.
Each day in our centers, we have the opportunity to invite others to the end of the scale where God’s favor rests. We get to mourn with those who are processing a decision gone awry. We get to walk away from a visit with a new perspective on life from someone who has walked a road we haven’t and realize humbly that but for the grace of God, we would do the exact same thing. We get to step in the gap between reality and justice, look her in the eyes and tell her that what she experienced as a little girl was not okay and her pain is seen by God. We get to show mercy and extend peace when her decision isn’t one we might want for her, but one that God can still work through. And we even get to step into persecution when our culture doesn’t quite understand why we offer our time and energy to someone “like that” or wonders why we don’t just get over this archaic idea of purity.
By the way, the woman who came in because nothing went as planned? Though she left still undecided, her face lit up with surprise when we gave her a Valentine from a community partner that had put together goodie bags of chocolate, girly soap, and a Starbucks gift card for each of our clients.
It seems it would be just like Jesus to use a Valentine to change a Mama’s perspective on her unborn little one. When we seize these opportunities, we are joining God in His intended, reckless, true definition of love. Thank you for joining us in reclaiming His love for the world to see.