Intense love does not measure, it just gives.” (Mother Teresa)
This is the last quote in the world you want to hear when you feel exhausted and drained. And that is exactly when I heard it. It was such a punch to the gut that tears immediately filled my eyes.
Measurement implies counting, comparing, evaluating, judging, testing. It hurts to measure; it’s also easy to measure.
It’s easy to measure time consumed listening to whining kids.
It’s easy to measure money spent on gifts.
It’s easy to measure effort and energy devoted to obligations on the calendar.
It’s easy to measure lack in life and needs, wants, and desires.
It’s easy to measure Facebook likes and comments.
It’s easy to measure what we give and receive and to somehow always find the scales unbalanced.
Intense love, true love gives. It doesn’t count, compare, evaluate, judge, or test. So giving something thoughtful to someone I love suddenly became a massive, but welcome, challenge.
Giving more time to my kids without regretting the pile of undone dishes and unfolded laundry.
Giving a more thoughtful birthday gift than a spur of the moment shop at Target.
Giving more undivided and focused attention the commitments on the calendar without regrets or laments.
Giving a smile to the cashier when all I want to do is wrestle my kids back into the cart. Giving prayer on the spot when someone says they have a need I can’t personally meet. Giving time to talk on the phone when the desire to crash on the couch is overwhelming.
Giving intentional and caring comments on Facebook instead of an impersonal like or scroll.
Giving without pulling out the scale to measure the balance between what’s been given and what’s been received.
Bob Goff, author of Love Does, included his personal phone number on the back of his best selling book so anyone could call and speak with him. In a recent interview, he answered his phone four times and asked them to call him back in an hour to talk. He talked about the power of interruption and how people are always more important than tasks.
Goff gives his full attention and time to every person he talks to. It was powerful and stretching to watch how much love he gives to each individual even in a 30 second interaction.
The gift of time and attention is the most thoughtful and valuable to give as well as receive. Thank you Mother Teresa and Bob Goff for the challenge. Challenge accepted.