Amy Carmichael missionary to the orphans in India often told new recruits, coming to serve….” Don’t be shocked out of loving.”
I remember the first time I was shocked out of loving. I was a little girl, the pastor’s daughter. One evening, before the church service started, I wandered in on a conversation between two members. I was sneaky enough to be quiet, keep still and listen. They were deep in conversation about the many weaknesses of the current pastor…..my Dad. I listened until I started to feel like I wanted to puke. As tears stung my eyes, I quietly backed down the stairs and into the pew next to my mother. I was a child and my tender heart had never been exposed the cruelty of Christianity. I did know one thing…..I hated those women. I had been shocked out of loving.
Life has a way of shocking the love right out of us. We start out with stars in our eyes and ideas of grandeur when it comes to loving others. We believe that there is nothing we can’t accomplish with just a little…or a lot of love.
Then we get hurt. Someone lies to us. Someone takes us for a fool. We see the ugly side of leader. We decide that loving is not worth the hurt and we find ourselves shocked right out of loving. We become cynical. We are skeptics of needs and demand that other must first prove their need before we will decide if they are worthy of our help. We become cold, detached but safe……and lonely, very lonely.
Amy Carmichael understood that there will be times that we will be taken advantage of. People will grab our offerings from our hands and turn on their heel without so much as a glance back. But we must never be shocked out of loving. The reasons are many, but tonight I can think of a very good reason to keep on loving. I was a liar and ungrateful. I took advantage when I could and still someone loved me. We are all, at our best, sinners guilty of causing pain to others. When you are shocked, as you surely will be, keep on loving. For you will be hurt many times. You will be shocked to your core. But there is no others way but love. It covers a multitude of sin.