• December 14, 2017

Truly loving?
Not necessarily being ‘the good guy’!

by Mara W., on mis­sion in Ecuador

     Daniel and Taylor, two brothers aged 12 and 3, live directly in front of our house. Not a day (or some­times an hour) goes by without one of them coming to our door. Their con­stant pres­ence has made me aware of the power of our own pres­ence in their lives. The rela­tion­ship between these boys and their mom is very dif­fi­cult, espe­cially for Daniel. Home is a place of little atten­tion and love. What often man­i­fests itself is his dif­fi­cult and atten­tion-calling behavior, which some­times (okay, let’s be honest – often) tries my patience. But it’s in this most dif­fi­cult, trying moments, that his thirst for friend­ship, for a place to belong, for a pur­pose, for respon­si­bility, becomes clear to me. I con­stantly have to remind myself to look past his behavior and seek to love him all the more when he pushes my but­tons. Learning to love Daniel has also taught me about an impor­tant aspect of loving: loving another person does not mean making sure that they are always happy with you, it doesn’t mean being the “good guy” all the time. It means con­stantly seeking their good in every cir­cum­stance, it means telling them the truth even when it’s not easy. This means that some­times Daniel gets angry with us when we have to cor­rect his behavior or “ground” him from our house for a few days in order to teach him a lesson. But we are also a lesson in for­give­ness for him, because no matter how many times he mis­be­haves or hurts us with his words and atti­tude, we are always ready to for­give him when he comes to say that he’s sorry. I know that beneath his tough-guy atti­tude lies a great love for us, and I see how much he cher­ishes our pres­ence in his life. He once said: “Heart’s Home is like my other family.”

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