International Ministries

You Know You Are Loved When…

July 26, 2010 Journal
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You Know You Are Loved When


Everyone has their own “language of love”…ways that  we show our care and concern for others. My mother’s language of love was food. She loved to make extravagant meals as a way of showing she cared. Since her death in 2002, I can’t see an angelfood cake without thinking of her.

         In different cultures, people show love in different ways. For example, in  Thailand it’s not uncommon to see straight men who are friends walking down the street  holding hands or linking arms.  My friend Barb told me that in Chile, they brew a special beverage called “mate”, then drink it together, sipping from  the same straw to show their friendship.  In Japan, close friends often like to go to an  "onsen" together. An “onsen” is a hot spring, and people go there to bathe communally in the hot mineral-rich waters.  A wonderfully relaxing way to spend an evening.
 
         The other day, I had an interesting experience with one of our older New Life Center residents who has a unique way of showing that she cares. We were chatting about some benign topic when she noticed that I had not shaved under my arms for a few days. (“Note to self: Refrain from wearing those sleeveless shirts from now on.”) So in response to my dilemma, she offered ever so kindly to pluck my armpit hairs for me.

Now believe it or not, this is actually a common thing for women who are close friends to do for each
other in Thailand. And I am a big believer in cultural adaptation. But there was no way on God’s green earth that I was about to let her anywhere near my armpits with those tweezers! It took all my gathered willpower not to laugh myself sick in this moment. But I didn’t. I took a deep breath, smiled and told her, “Thank you so much. But really, I’m very cowardly about pain, so I don’t think I’ll be able to take you up on your kind offer.” It’s nice to know that I am loved, accepted and cared for in Thailand. But there are just some languages of love that will forever remain a mystery to this American. I draw the line at armpit hairs.
 
Our God had an unusual language of love, too. He sent His one and only Son to be born on earth, to die on a cross, and then to arise from death, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  And we can choose to accept His love, or plead cowardice and refrain from His kind offer.  As for me, I choose to accept this offer daily with gratitude for His mercy and love.



I am also thankful to receive your faithful encouragement, cards, emails, prayers, and ongoing support--your language of love.
  Thank you for these
showers of blessing that sustain and strengthen me in the power of the Lord  to press forward, day by day.
    
                   
Love, Kit