Love Isn't Love Until You Give It Away

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Yesterday I was about to leave church when a friendly bunch in our Bell Choir asked if I wanted to walk around the main drag of where I live.  It was a lovely day, there was an Arts Festival going on, we were gonna have lunch together, and best of all we'd be walking around with Wally - an enormously huge Great Dane that is also a Therapy Dog for ill and suffering children.

How could I say no?

When you walk around town with Wally, one of the things you immediately discover is that he's the Star Of The Show.  People just immediately start to ask what kind of dog he is, how old he is, how much he weighs, and most of all....can they pet him?

Wally ALWAYS agrees to the last question without reserve, hesitation or question.  Wally unconditionally allows people to receive from him by allowing anyone and everyone to touch him.  In doing so, in Wally's selfless way of allowing others to receive his big selfless love, people leave feeling a little better.

And for the kids that he regularly visits, they leave feeling A LOT better.  Perhaps even transformed.

There's a few important lessons we can all learn from Wally about the nature of how we share of ourselves in compassion and in love....

- Love, in its purest form, is always selfless.  If it is anything other, it is not Love with a capital "L."

- One of the wonders about that kind of Love is that in selflessly giving it, we abundantly receive it as well.  When we selflessly love, when we give of ourselves without consideration for what we'll get back in return....when we live Compassion without Expectation, invariably we find we, too, are Loved in like turn.

- We live in a world that almost always works on a "Give-and-Take" mentality.  If we aren't going to get something in return, what's our incentive for giving?  As a people of Faith, Jesus bids us to love one another as he loved us...and that means with unconditional selflessness, understanding, forgiveness and grace without any consideration of what we will "get back" for doing so.  There is no quantifiable ROI on sharing Jesus' love.  If we think there is, we're horribly missing the point.

- This kind of Love is THE most profound instrument for Healing, Renewal, Restoration and Hope.  It cannot, CANNOT be kept to ourselves and can only be alive in the world if we share it.  If we don't share it, it isn't Love - period.

Wally brings Joy, Healing and Transformation just by allowing people to touch him.  Imagine what we could achieve if we allowed people to touch us and BE touched by us, as well?

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Thanks, Wally, for being such a vibrant agent of God's love...we're all better for it.

Now would that we would be more like him.

Peace,  Shawn

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WINTER PARK

225 S. INTERLACHEN AVENUE

WINTER PARK, FL  32789

407 647 2416

fccwp@fccwp.org