Relationships

Love Anyway

So, I know it’s March and way past Valentine’s Day, but I want to tell you about mine anyway.

For the past few years my husband and I have participated in Team Black on Valentine’s Day. It’s a group of people that try to find ways to be inclusive, creative, and loving towards others as a way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in more than just a commercial sense. This year I decided that I wanted to do something special for my husband’s co-workers; there had been some tensions between people in the office, and I thought a kind gesture might go a long way to make everyone a little happier.

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Thursday night Timothy worked on dipping cashew caramels in dark chocolate and salting them while I made apple pie filling for mini pies.

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I have never tried to make mini pies before, and I’m not sure I will be doing it again anytime soon. It took a long time and a lot of work! But I was doing it to brighten someone else’s day, so I knew it would be worth it in the end.IMG_9432

The next day my husband took the treats to his co-workers, and I couldn’t wait to hear how everyone had enjoyed them. I texted Timothy to ask about their reactions, and I was shocked to hear his reply. Timothy and several of his co-workers are in a competition to lose weight, and one of them refused to eat any of the treats and started telling others in the office that she thought I had sent the treats in to sabotage their weight loss plans so that Timothy would win the competition! I was floored. Do people really do things like that?!

What I had meant as a gesture of goodwill and kindness had been twisted into a selfish, mean-spirited act. I can’t tell you how hurt, misunderstood, and misrepresented I felt. After my initial shock wore off a bit, I reasoned with myself that Timothy’s co-workers do not know me, which means that their idea of my intentions was completely unfounded and was not meant as a personal attack on my character. Nonetheless, it affected me deeply, and as I tried to rationalize away the hurt God began to teach me something.

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My knee-jerk reaction to this experience was to think—see if I ever waste my time doing something nice for Timothy’s co-workers again! But God spoke to my heart through my hurt. My mind turned to how Jesus dealt with people misrepresenting him and twisting his words: He loved anyway. Sometimes loving anyway feels like a waste to us, but that is just a lie that Satan feeds us. Love cannot be wasted; because to love is to display the character of God, and God doesn’t change depending on the way that people react to Him. He loves anyway.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Laura March 2, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Kristen, I know that must be really hard. I would be so discouraged. So, so discouraged. I see a reminder in this story about just how much this world needs Jesus and His true love. We live in a world that is so full of fear that even kind, unselfish gestures are seen as a threat. It breaks my heart. I will be praying that God will continue to give you strength and to fill you strongly with His love – it is the only thing that can overcome.

    “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 [a]fixing our eyes on Jesus, the [b]author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

    3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary [c]and lose heart.”

    Hebrews 12:1-3

  • Reply Laura March 2, 2016 at 2:58 pm

    Oops, I didn’t mean to click send already. I just wanted to add thank you for sharing and thank you for loving! <3

    • Reply Kristin George March 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks for the encouragement Laura!

  • Reply Laura Nommk March 4, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Kristin,
    That would really leave me feeling hurt and frustrated. I’m sorry you experienced that but thank you for the reminder that love is never wasted.

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