A homeless man is sitting in an inner city doorway, sheltered from wintery wind. Two people approach and the first says, “I love you man. Stay strong. I will pray that things get better for you.” The second person approaches says, “You look like a total waste of humanity, how could anyone love you? Get up from there and come with me. There’s a thrift store around the corner, let’s get you some clean clothes. And there’s a truck stop a few blocks from here where you can shower and clean up. Then we’ll get you fed and I’ll give you a few bucks. From there on it’s up to you.”
I have friends and relatives who are proud to say that they never part company with one another without affirming, “I love you.”
Some are relatively well off while others are struggling with day to day living. After the parting of ways those who are well off are still well off while those struggling are still struggling. But the words of love have been duly exchanged.
In the Bible (KJV) Matthew 7:20 contains these words, “wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” In my opinion the passive words “I love you” might sow the seeds but they harvest no fruit.
Would it not be better if, when relating to people who rank high enough in our esteem to rate an “I love you,” we take the extra time to ask what if anything they need and how we might be able to assist them in addressing any problems they might have.
Yes, that approach might cost more in time, energy and even money but wouldn’t it be worth it to convert those passive “I love yous” into active ones? To actually made a difference when someone you care about is in need?
Sometimes those words and a hug or pat on the back are all that is needed but we’ll never know unless we reach out beyond the words.
Thanks for the time you have invested in reading this, you are appreciated.