I just finished talking to a family member.
"How much love do I have to show? I feel as though so many people (none of my readers - and I admit, I might've been a little bit overdramatic) take my love for granted. I pour out my heart and soul to them, and I love them relentlessly - and still, they trample on me and refuse to show me the love I show them. I do everything I can to show people how much I love them - I put my heart out there - but they don't do the same. How much do I have to love?"
And do you know what my family member said?
"You're tired. Go to bed. Things will look better in the morning."
Don't get me wrong, this particular family member loves me and tries to understand me and has been doing a lovely job of not taking my emotions for granted lately. But as I heard this person say those words, all I could think was, You missed an opportunity to hear what I really feel inside.
And when I walked into the bathroom to brush my teeth, I looked in the mirror. And I thought to myself, I have never looked uglier. Crazy how three sentences suddenly made me look ugly.
But I'm not tired, honestly. I'm not going to bed, either. And things might look better in the morning, but the problem won't resolve itself.
Still, though, as I sit here, I already know the answer to the question "How much do I have to love?"
The answer is this: I must love just as much as Jesus did. Which means that my love, whether it's reciprocated or rejected, must know absolutely no bounds. I'm not talking fake "love" where I allow people to dump all their problems on me, then leave - I'm talking about loving with real love, the kind where you care and listen and understand and serve without letting people suck the life out of you. But that's another topic entirely. What I'm saying is...
I must Love relentlessly. Faithfully. Wholeheartedly. Committedly. Constantly. With His kind of Love.
Even if I am rejected, I will Love. I will Love with reckless abandon, as though I have never been hurt.
That is how much love I am to show.