‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sacrifice is a Gift!

Love makes the world go 'round. Might sound trite, might sound cliche, but it is also true.

Being away from home is hard. Being away from my work is even harder, if you can believe it. But being here and loving Anya in the most active and visceral way possible is worth a hundred years of homesickness, a thousand years of not doing the work I love.

If we do not step out of our tiny, self-created comfort zones, if we do not embrace unknowing and just trust the journey, we will never know the depths of love we are capable of. I thought I had a great life -- I loved my daughter, my home, my work, my community, my friends. None of it compares to giving it all up for another human being. Truly.

I'm no martyr. I'm no  Mother Teresa, believe me. I am the furthest thing from selflessness, and yet I crave God like I crave water on a hot day. I know the only way to Him, for me, is through sacrifice. I draw closer to him in my need, and in my loneliness. What could be more important?

I've tried a life a leisure. A life of pleasure. A life of amassing material objects. I've tried a life of pursuing knowledge. I've most recently tried a life of pursuing simple happiness. nothing compares.


And this is why I believe in Christ. He is a man after my own heart. He went right to it. He embraced dying so others could live. I never understood the joy in that. I thought I understood why He did it, but now I get that there is "joy" in sacrifice. a joy you can not access ANY other way.

I used to be sad that so many of the people I knew, even family, were content to make themselves happy and disregard the world at large. I used to think I was paying a hefty price for caring. Guess what! The joke's on me! Suffering brings bliss! Self -sacrifice leads to a joy that only those who give in to it can access. It is a paradox. It is a gift. Now I grieve for my same friends. I want them to know this heart-ecstasy.

Today I celebrate the awesomeness of God. The God who chose me to be here. The God who is so full of Love that he would pour out his life for me. God, I hear you today. Thank you thank you for giving me the gift of suffering. My heart sings to you an unending hymn of praise.

My favorite Mosaic at St Isaac's Catherdral, St Petersburg, Russia.


  1. Anonymous6:41 AM

    "I draw closer to him in my need, and in my loneliness. What could be better?"

    None of us like to suffer and even fewer of us will sacrifice ourselves for others. But you are right, it's a fantastic feeling to walk hand in hand with Him.

  2. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    I have half-written a post entitled, "Prayer, True Love, Hard Things". That's the title of a lesson we teach in my program - and in writing that lesson, I suddenly realized - that's how we love God and NOTHING in my life prepared me for it, trained me in it - like caring for my "challenging" children.

    Loving my bio children - who loved me back - was easy, rewarding. OK, there was the occasional "giving up" of some little thing... But, it was not the life of service, not the constant, intense selflessness required by those who so sorely need the true love that God wants to pour down on them through me.

    It feels like being the instrument of His peace in the most intense, painful way sometimes. But - oh! the motivation! The reward!

    God be with you. You are an inspiration to me, and I am offering some of the "hard things" up for you and Anya...

  3. I want to "Like" this post! And I understand, too. It's odd, isn't it? I don't know that I've been in ecstasy in my suffering, but I have found more peace there in the surrender than when things are going well or "OK." I'm still a very self-oriented person, unwilling to give much of myself "in person" - it's easier for me to do things from afar or anonymously; I really like anonymously TBH. God calls me to little sacrifices, I suppose, but has not yet called me to do something hugely scary. He might not. If He does, I hope I have the courage to answer Yes.

  4. "Once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act."(Proverbs 24:12)

    God Bless - The Murray's

  5. I am deeply and profoundly touched, moved and inspired by your words and your faith. Thank you for sharing.


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