Over last weekend, I experienced extraordinary joy from going the extra mile to care for someone. While I was there, I realized that when we love people the way God wants, our best life would occur in secret. Our acts of love may never make the news and we may never win any accolades. Even the recipients of our sacrifice might not know the true price we pay, and that’s OK!
“When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.” Matthew 6:3-4, The Message.
A life of love is often a secret one. However, God’s eyes are right there in the secret places. For example, when we serve those who live in places where suffering and reality coincide, selfies are superfluous and tweets unnecessary. What matters there are empathy, compassion and action.
To be sure, this kind of life is not easy. In an age where we are told that we would achieve success from cultivating big platforms, we are tempted to measure our life by how many followers we have. It doesn’t matter who follows us, what matters is how closely we follow Jesus. And He has professed that He did not come for the strong and well, He came for the sick, the sinful, the deserted, the disdained, and the poor. Chances are as we follow Him, he’ll lead us to serve those people.
This is not a blog post advocating that all of us become missionaries who go to remote places to help the poor and sick, though, by all means go if you sense that God is calling you there. What I am saying is that wherever we are, whether in the city or countryside; we should value the hidden life more than the outwards. According to John Wooden “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
Let’s be more concerned by how much love we share, rather than how many people love our latest picture. I must confess that I am often as guilty as anyone else in this regard: I get excited when one of my posts trend and plenty people share it.
However I have decided to spend my life and equity loving those on the margins of society as best as I can. I would value the applause of God more than that of man, and whenever a choice arises between what would glorify me and what would glorify God, I would gladly choose what would glorify God. So help me God.