How to Love them Deeply

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We were at the Denver airport catching a flight to Tulsa, Ok. I was with my oldest daughter and we had just sat down to eat a quick dinner before we boarded the plane. I looked over to my left and saw an Asian woman sitting by herself eating salad and working on her computer, which was a Mac by the way.  She looked to be around 60, wore glasses and her hair reminded me of June Cleaver. I wondered what she could be working on and where she was headed. I found myself caught up in imagination as I tried to figure her out in my mind. I looked her way several times, hoping that she would glance back. She finally did. I smiled and she smiled back and we exchanged a genuine care for each other like human beings should. I wondered if there was anything that we had in common. I didn’t know. I only knew this one thing.

I loved her.

To my right were two men, one had an accent like mine, except not as southern, and another had one that was European. They were laughing with each other and talking about future plans. It seemed as though they were going their own separate ways. I couldn’t help but smile at them as they gathered their things to leave.

I loved them.

We’re living in an odd time, aren’t we? It seems the word “love” is being thrown around very genuinely, and also very carelessly. I see people shouting LOVE in so many ways. Some ways that are good, and honestly some ways that are nauseating. I see people shout love but out of hate. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

I have seen relationships literally torn in two because of different political and religious beliefs. Judgements are tossed around like rag-dolls without care or concern.

I just don’t get it?

My uncomplicated and naive heart just doesn’t get it.

I wrote a post not too long ago about loving yourself.  I honestly believe that at the core of all of the hate in the people of America is a lack of love and acceptance for who they are. Seems to be a pretty simple conclusion and I’m certain there is more to it but for the sake of time I’ll just leave it at that. I encourage you just to think on that and draw your own conclusion.

Love each other deeply, because love makes up for practically anything –  1 Peter 4:8

Notice anything about that verse?

Practically anything. 

The ones that are near and dear to our hearts are not the only ones who deserve our deep love.

The ones that are near & dear to our hearts aren't the only ones who deserve our deep love. Click To Tweet

I’ll be honest- it’s hard to even love some, much less love them deeply?!

It’s one thing to love another person, but it’s a completely different thing to love them deeply.

And speaking of practically anything, I have a lot of “practically anything’s,” don’t you? Here are some of mine:
I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that we don’t see eye to eye politically.
I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that you cut me off in traffic.
I… that we don’t worship the same God.
I… that you pushed me out of your life.
I… that I feel like you spread hate on face-book.
I… that makes up for the fact that you hurt people who I love.

What are your practically anything’s?

I love you deeply, and that makes up for the fact that _________________________.
(What could you insert here?)

How to love them deeply. Everyone carries with them a story of love, heartbreak and history. Everyone deserves our deep love, because love makes up for anything.

 

  • Deep love is unconditional. It means you love someone regardless of their weaknesses. And you don’t complain about it. It means that you love them and don’t want anything in return. You love them in spite of. So look beyond the weakness. We shouldn’t have to apply for love from another human being as if we’re trying to get a job at McDonald’s, but isn’t that what it’s come to these days? Good grief. Love them for them, not for what they do or don’t do! Love is a gift that you give another.
  • Open your mind and heart. Look past all of the ways that you’re different and listen to them. Listen to their stories and be willing to share your stories. You probably have more in common than you think. Every one has endured a heart-break of some kind. That alone is a commonality.
  • Practice empathy. For some this is just a gift, for others not so much. Empathy is simply putting yourself in another’s shoes. Do you have any idea what they have gone through in their life? Do you have any idea what they went through this morning? I love this quote- Be kind, for everyone is facing a battle that you do not know about. Every body carries with them a story. A story of love, heart-break and history that make them who they are.
Everyone carries a story of love, heartbreak &history that make them who they are. Click To Tweet

How to love them deeply. Everyone carries with them a story of love, heartbreak and history. Everyone deserves our deep love, because love makes up for anything.

Love them deeply.

Next time you have the opportunity, intentionally look a stranger in the eye. Make eye contact and give a genuine heart-felt smile. You would be amazed at what it could do for their day, as well as yours.

 

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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  1. Beautifully written with a loving heart. I will keep your practically anything close so I can add to it. Thank you!

  2. Loved your post and the love for God that is behind it. When we love Jesus it transforms our hearts and enables us to love others with a deeper love. I appreciate your encouragement to look past differences and practice empathy. I never seem to tire of that prodding–because I need it 🙂 Visiting from #livefreethursday today!

  3. Pam Rickner says:

    It seems like when I truly let Jesus fill me up I saw people differently. I was able to love in a way I never had before.

  4. Jill says:

    Shannon-Thanks for this encouragement to love ‘in spite of’ everything, just like Jesus does for us. The power of a smile, a gesture can make all the difference and open a door to Jesus too. Happy to have stopped by today!

  5. Ah Shannon- this message is SO important and needed now more than ever! We all must remind ourselves of this gracious love… And pour it from where it comes- Christ’s unending unfailing love. Oh, but it’s SO hard sometimes, isn’t it?

    “What are your practically anything’s?” <— I will be thinking about this question and praying for God to reveal in me the answer.

    Thank you for this. <3

    • Shannon says:

      Hi Christine! Yes I agree..it’s needed now more than ever and it breaks my heart! Once you figure out what your “practically anything’s” are I’d love to hear them!

  6. Erica says:

    Shannon, this is so beautifully written, I love it!

  7. Eryn says:

    Wow what a powerful message. The “practically anythings” hit me hard today. It stopped me in my tracks when I read it.

    That unconditional love is the key. Loving people, even if you don’t agree with that they do, even if they would never love you back, even if you don’t feel they “deserve” it…

    You’re right – it’s just like the love we’ve already received from the Lord.

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