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Responding With Love


Editor’s Note: Missioner Aubrey Kimble shares her thoughts about how, often, the seemingly simple and obvious answers are the ones that we should really seek.

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about love. During my free time, I’ve been reading more of the Bible – specifically the Gospels – and man, does Jesus talk a lot about love!

And then, at the student mass last Thursday, the priest gave a wonderful homily about love that I wanted to share with you. This is the story he shared (paraphrased, of course):

One night, a family had the opportunity to invite a house guest over for dinner. There were three guests waiting to be invited – Wealth, Success, and Love – but the family could only choose one guest to invite in. They began discussing among themselves. The mother suggested, “Let’s invite Wealth in for dinner. It would be nice to have some extra money, and besides, last year was a bit rough for us.” The father considered her point and then said, “Why don’t we invite Success instead? That way our business will do well.” While they continued to argue, their daughter added from the corner, “You should invite Love in. What this family needs more of isn’t wealth or success, but love for one another.”

Her parents realized that she was right. Her mother walked outside to the house guests. As they stood up she said, “You are all wonderful company, but unfortunately we can only invite one guest in for dinner. We would like to invite Love to join us.” Smiling, all three began to enter the house. Confused, the woman said, “But we were only allowed to invite one guest in! Why are Wealth and Success going in as well?” The guests answered, “If you had invited Wealth or Success, only one would have been able to enter. But because you invited Love, we are all able to enter your house.”

When the priest originally began this story, I thought to myself that this was too easy. I mean, come on – anyone could see where this story was headed! But through his story, as we reached the end, I found that my spirit was uplifted. The story, although predictable, was beautiful in its simplicity.

And maybe that’s what we need more of – the simple answers. I’m not saying that life is easy or that it’s always simple, because it is far from it. But I also think that we sometimes complicate things unnecessarily.

When we come up against problems or decisions in our daily lives, we should try treating them as if love is the answer to everything. And if we really did that – imagine what the world could become!

Whenever I am faced with frustrations here in Carmen Pampa – students who don’t seem to care about anything, coworkers not following through on things, children not listening and misbehaving – I think of a quote I found on Pinterest that is so beautiful.

It says, “Instead of withholding love to change somebody, I poured it on, lavishly. I hoped that love would work like a magnet, pulling people from the mire and toward healing. I knew this was the way God loved me. God had never withheld love to teach me a lesson.”

Responding with love to frustrations is hard, but it is so worth it. Responding with love to frustrations is hard, but it is so worth it.

For example, I am so glad I stuck with the children’s library. If I had gone with my immediate reaction to their misbehaving, I would have abandoned it altogether. Responding to them with love was hard and time consuming. But eventually the kids became more comfortable with me and got used to the rules, and things have been so much better ever since.

Reflection Question: What is one simple way that you can respond in love during your day, even in moments of frustration?

Aubrey has been in Bolivia since January 2016 serving at Unidad Académica Campesina-Carmen Pampa, a rural college. She works at the children's library and in a daycare for students' babies. She also accompanies students in their daily and after-school activities, such as Pastoral group, English Club, and Mujeres Valientes, a women's empowerment group.

Aubrey’s heart lies in service, the Spanish language, and music – she has been playing the cello for 11 years. While studying economics and Spanish at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Aubrey became a Catholic and discovered her love for service through Newman Center alternative spring break trips to Philadelphia and Staten Island. Her desire to be the hands and feet of Christ among the poor motivated her serve on overseas mission.