Hey friends! I hope everyone is having a good week. These past few weeks have been awesome. I had the opportunity to serve in Los Angeles with the amazing LA Dream Center. If you haven’t heard of this ministry, you NEED to check it out! I could talk for hours (maybe days) about all the amazing things that they are able to do in LA. I’m just so thankful that I got to spend the week working alongside them with some of my favorite people, Northplace Students. While I could also talk about them for hours (and, yes, days) I won’t bore you, but instead share something I learned during my time in Los Angeles.
I think that our society confuses kindness with love. I believe you can be a kind person, but not love others. You can smile at a stranger in Costco, but not genuinely love others. This idea of kindness vs. love was introduced to me while I was in Skid Row. If you’re not familiar with Skid Row, it’s one of the largest populations of homeless people in the United States. It’s blocks upon blocks of people living in “homes” made of cardboard and plastic tarps. While I’ve read many articles on this infamous place, nothing could’ve prepared me for what I was going to see. The amount of hurting, hopeless people was overwhelming.
“If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1 NLT
I could speak with perfect grammar (LOL- dat ain’t me) but if I didn’t love, it’s worthless. If I always say the right thing, but don’t love others, it’s worthless. If I live a perfect life with the perfect family and the perfect smile with the perfect car and the perfect eyebrows (I wish) and the perfect shoes, but didn’t love others, it would be worthless. When we love others, like God loves us, our lives finally mean something.
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13:3 NLT
So if I gave away all my money, but didn’t genuinely love others, it was all for nothing. Love is so important. We can give money or time but that’s not enough. We have to love. I’m not talking about telling someone you love them, but showing them you love them. Showing someone you love them can we shown in all types of ways. Love can be shown by a giving someone a hug, or praying with them, or being there for them when their parents are getting a divorce. Love is more than just a four letter word. It does!
The next few verses of 1 Corinthians 13 are some of the most well known in the Bible. These verses define God’s love, a love that I hope and pray each of us can show to those around us.
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I would consider myself a kind person. I smile at strangers. I ask people how their day is. I talk to strangers (I can make friends with a wall.) I’m a pretty friendly person. But here’s the thing… Kindness only goes so far. If I was simply a kind person, as soon as I smelt the urine and sight of human feces lining the sidewalks of Skid Row, I would’ve ran back to my car, and pretended like I’d never set foot in the 10 block radius of Skid Row. Kindness draws lines, but love knows no bounds.
So friends let’s show our friends, family, and strangers we meet at Costco this kind of relentless, boundless, patient, hopeful love. This is what our world needs. Not some kindness… because that’s not good enough.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” Ephesians 3:20 NIV
If you have any questions or prayer requests of both you can email me at email@example.com.
Also, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram @thatotherhannah and Snapchat @hannahhmooree.
If you want more info on the LA Dream Center check them out here!