Finding Love

BY 30 HOUR FAMINE TEAM

Tess Cassidy

finding-loveAs I was flipping through my journal the other day, I stumbled upon this entry:

February 27, 2014

Lord,

Give me a heart to serve others.

Amen.

Normally, I write more, whether it is specific prayer requests or notes from the Bible. On February 27, 2014, this was all I had to offer up to God. It was all I had to learn. Flipping back over the previous weeks in my journal, I found it filled with prayers regarding decisions on how to spend my time during my freshman year of college: Am I being a successful 30 Hour Famine Ambassador (after returning from the Ethiopia Study Tour)? What organization on campus do I feel my time is best spent? What do I want to be involved in? What should I be involved in?

Flipping back a few days earlier:

February 23, 3014

John 13:1-17 (Jesus washes his disciples’ feet)

My thoughts: Love people by serving them. This is how to be a leader. This is how to follow Christ.

At the time, those were just random thoughts I had while wrapped up in the whirlwind of life that God had so generously intervened on. Looking back, it couldn’t be truer. “Give me a heart to serve others,” has become more than just a one-time prayer for me. It has become a centerfold into my relationship with God and community with others. I continually pray it week after week, month after month.

Fast-forward from 2014 to this current year and the prayers seemed to have changed a bit.

I’ve been pondering what “love” is. As a busy college student, I find it so easy to get wrapped up into what I’m doing and center my focus on my never ending to-do list I constantly add to. I get so bogged down by my own world sometimes I forget to look into others. So in my crazy life, what does love look like?

It’s an intangible thing. It’s the strongest force there is. It’s incomprehensibly passionate. Despite these invisible qualities, love is ever present and so easy to spot.

As I look around, I see love through service. I see it in the service of others, but more importantly I see where love is lacking. Here, service is the fix. My life has become a constant search for who I can serve.

So what makes service so special? Why can’t I just give a hug or a gift and move on with my day? James 2:17 resonates well, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Hold up, that’s a strong statement—faith is absolutely nothing without service. Furthermore, faith is nothing without love. Faith provides love that we can shine onto others, because without God, love doesn’t exist. God is love. The bible even continues to say, in 1 John 4:11, that, “God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

Now to me, this is crazy powerful stuff! Service is love and love is faith. Since God is love, we can only love others in the capacity we love God. The amount we serve others is a direct reflection of the amount we love God.

Just this past week, I received a gift from a volunteer for the organization I work for (Appalachia Service Project, a home repair ministry in central Appalachia). It was a bandana with some nice notes, but there was one that stuck out saying, “Thank you for your heart of service.” He is answering my prayers and He is living here. Through service, I’m finding love.