Love has no boundaries

I want to introduce you to my newest friend.

Well, it won’t be a formal introduction because after attempting to talk to him for a few seconds, I learned that he couldn’t speak. I then learned that he couldn’t hear and he couldn’t read. One of my teammates started to do sign language with him, but of course, there was a language barrier, as American Sign Language is different than what he was signing.

But what I learned even more quickly was that this boy loved to laugh, so we laughed a lot. He had one of the sweetest and most contagious laughs I’ve ever heard. We threw up some peace signs, did some handshakes, played with our friend Courtney’s hair and treated him to some ice cream, which very well may have been his very first time ever having an ice cream cone.

This sweet boy came to me during a time where I was in extreme doubt and questioning. Ecuador has been a difficult time. I wish I could say that every day on the race was glorious, but the reality of it is that Ecuador has been a hard time for our squad.

We have been the victims of many stolen phones, bags and even several muggings. It has been hard to see my purpose in being here for the next 33 days and a lot of questioning the Lord as if he does have me in the right place for the next month.

That evening, I was filled with a lot of anger. I was filled with insecurity and discomfort as I was sitting in a KFC with two other girls for five hours waiting for our overnight bus back home. I was angry that KFC was the only place that we could be because it was the only place that was even relatively safe.

I’m not one who lives in fear, but it is hard to live in a place where I fear taking anything with me anywhere because the chances of getting my things stolen is so high.

I was really questioning Jesus and just kept saying, “What am I supposed to do in this place for the next 33 days? Are you sure I am supposed to be here? I don’t see a purpose, I don’t feel needed here, I don’t feel appreciated or respected here. I constantly feel taken advantage of. Jesus, what are you going to do with me here? I don’t understand your purpose.”

And that’s when Jesus sent this young boy to me. And that’s when he so gently reminded me of my purpose here — to love, to pour out as much love as I possibly can.

Love has no boundaries. Love has no limitations. Love has no barriers. Love doesn’t have to be spoken, heard or read. Love has to be felt, and love has to be shown. I don’t have to speak to show love, but every action I make has the ability to show love. And because of the grace of the Father and him placing me in the perfect place at the perfect time, that’s when he spoke to me, “Your purpose is to love.”

To love deeply. To love them with a love that is an overflow of the Father’s love that he has lavished on me. To love in a way that shows people whose daughter I am. To love in such a way that those around me don’t see the love I show but see the love that the Father pours out through me. To love is to be loved. I love because I am loved.

This boy didn’t hear the words that I spoke to him, but he did feel the love that I showed him, and I pray that he recognizes that this isn’t a love I could have shown on my own. But because he is a son of God who is so deeply loved and cherished, the Father used me and my teammates to pour out love to him. We just simply said, “Yes.”

This is why I am here — to just love, to pour out an overflow of the Father’s love to those around me who are the hardest to love. People can be hard to love. Even a country can be hard to love, but despite all of the terrible things that have happened here, I fully believe that the Lord will use them for his glory and his good, and he will reveal his purpose because he loves us.

The Lord says, “You are in the palm of my hands. I have you exactly where you are supposed to be.”

Month 9, I am ready to love.

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