I was standing in the kitchen cooking breakfast. He was standing by the breakfast island waiting to be served.

“I” am, well, you know who I am.

“He” is a young 18 year old friend – who will remain nameless.

My priority for the last two months has been to speak into the life of this young, bighearted, easily conflicted young man. It has had its moments. There have been timeswhen he has opened up and received words of love, guidance and wisdom. Othertimes he has lashed out in anger, fear and ignorance.

My role has been a drop in the bucket compared to what others have contributed.Among them, his parents have made it their priority to speak into his life for the last13 plus years. They have modeled true love to him: generosity, consistency,patience, gentleness, firmness, forgiveness, and instruction.

The challenge has been to try and figure out what is going on in his young mind andheart, gain his trust and gently show him a better Way. Each night I compare noteswith his parents.

Are we getting anywhere? Are we making progress? Sometimes there are smallglimmers of hope. Other times our hearts are bleeding, having been slashed open bywords that he has spoken in a heated moment.

I peel the shirt off my back and handed it to him. He looks at me in awe andappreciation.

These two months have flown by. I am emotionally exhausted. I can’t imagine howhis parents must feel. Because they have chosen to not make his actions public – fewwill truly understand what they have gone through.

It is time for me to leave. I must get on with my life. Have I made an impact? Will hesee how much he is loved? Will he open his heart and trust?

Two days later he leaves. Moves out. Without a thank you to those who have lovedhim for years. He’s 18, he’s free to go where he wants, and he does. Will he recognizethat he has truly experienced love? I don’t know, the story isn’t completely writtenyet.

I do know this. Love is a gift. Love is a challenge. Love is inconvenient. Love can hurt.Love has no guarantees. Love can have no strings attached. Yet, love we must! Fortruly that is the essence of Life. It is the essence of God. God is Love.

Are you giving the gift of Love today? Please do. Don’t quit. The story isn’t completely written yet.

Have you identified and appreciated who has Loved you? Please do. They arelonging for a happy ending to the story.

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