Love Is an Action
by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
I saw something that disturbed me to my core the other day. It disturbed me in part because it was so sad to watch and in part because I have been guilty of this behavior myself.
I was at the orthodontist with my daughter Tessa. When we walked in for our appointment, I noticed a man playing a game on his phone. I think I noticed him because his phone was so loud, and I find it mildly humorous when grown men are playing loud video games (no offense if this is you).
Tessa was called in to see the orthodontist, and as I was waiting for her, a young girl (around 12 years old) came out of the bathroom with a bounce in her step. She stood in front of her dad–the same man who was playing on his phone. I can only assume she wanted his attention, but he didn’t even look up–no, not a glance in her direction. Aware that she wasn’t going to get him to talk to her, she sat next to him, grabbed a children’s book, and read it aloud to herself.
I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. She was reading as if someone next to her was listening intently to her story, but no one was. It was heartbreaking.
How often do we do this to our children or others we love?
We are now a society that has everything “on the go.” We never have to be unavailable for any reason, because we have a phone with us at all times. We never have to be bored, because we can carry games, books, movies, and anything else we might want in one convenient tablet. We can be modern men and women with all of our gadgets and conveniences. But at what cost?
Do we miss the one thing that is so critically important? Do we miss out on building relationships?
I went home and read this verse: “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
I realized that love is an action. Love requires us to give our time and attention. Love requires us to put down what may not be all that important and listen to someone. Love requires us to tune in to others. This day was an eye opener for me. I hope it will be for you as well.