The Lost Art of Loving People
I really appreciate art and how it takes on so many forms. I think my favorite type of art is humanity. We come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, but we are all divinely designed and all serve a different purpose. A close second form of art I am fond of would be love. Consequently, these two are tied together. Love cannot be seen or felt without people. If people stop showing love, the art is lost and it’s a perpetual cycle.
It’s a given that we should all strive to be like Jesus but that is so much easier said than done. You see, He is a Master artist but He is also Love in its purest form. He created life out of dust. As a potter, He forms beautiful vessels. He paints sunsets and crafts miracles. He loves people so much so that He designed a cross and stretched His arms wide for you and for me. He is love and He gives love.
Most art requires the creator to get their hands a little messy like Jesus does daily. He is our example.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to travel with a medical missions team to visit the Bahamas in the wake of hurricane Dorian. Upon arrival, we piled into a van and headed away from the tropical waters and right into the heart of hurt. We drove house to house, giving check-ups and loving on the locals.
I have no medical background, only a few CPR classes, and the new knowledge of how to take someone’s blood pressure. I felt out of place. I felt like I wasn’t contributing because I was not in the thick of it- tending to wounds or checking pulses. The certified ones were creating art and showing love in such a vital way. I was holding a different paintbrush than those holding stethoscopes. They did an amazing job being God’s hands and feet in that capacity, but I realized, I will never be able to meet needs at a level they can. I wasn’t administering care or helping them physically and at first thought that made me feel less than. I couldn’t administer first aid or spit out medical terms and use fancy tools. Thank God for the ones who can. They are such heroes. But not having that skill set doesn’t disqualify my calling and it doesn’t discredit yours either. The truth is, sometimes the deepest pain is the kind you can’t even see- and that is what I tried to tend to. That is the kind of love I showed in the ways I was able to.
I couldn’t do all the things those well-trained and highly educated medical team could, but I did what my hands were able to and I did it with all my might. I bagged up vitamins and gave out Ibuprofen. I walked the neighborhoods and helped children put their shoes on the right feet. I gave out tiny keychains and plastic sunglasses to the little ones. I held the hands. I hugged the hurting. I gave water to the thirsty. I did what Jesus tells us all to do and I did it unto Him. That was all I had to give and I gave it.
I could not give to those sweet souls what they lost in the hurricane or all they lacked monetarily, but I could get down on their level of emotional pain and write and fill a prescription that didn’t come in pill form. I gave love and I gave it out in buckets, bandaids, water bottles, and high-fives.
Maybe your gifts and talents look a little different than someone else. I hope this article reminds you that’s okay. In fact- it’s more than okay, it’s needed. Loving people seems to be a lost art and I wish we would all pick up whatever tools we have and get back to it. It’s what Jesus would do.
Rachel Skirvin is a lover of travel, nachos, and the gospel. She is a graduate of Urshan College and will most likely always call it Gateway. She just recently married her best friend and together they are serving at The Pentecostals of Cooper City in South Florida.