Friday, June 19, 2009

My TOMS Entry

Define love.

That was a question my high school sociology teacher posed to me and my class.

We tried to tell him it was a feeling, something indefinable. That it was between a man and a woman or a mother and a child. Something intangible and beyond our grasp.

He never accepted one of our answers.

I've never been to the Valley of 1,000 Hills, but I know of it. I sponsor two children there – a 5-year-old boy and a 3-year-old girl. I've shipped boxes of clothes (and sure, sometimes cookies) and prayed that one day I could ship myself so I could see these children who I call "my kids". I wait for pictures and letters and can feel the tears forming in my eyes when I get a smile from somewhere far, far away from children I am not sure I will ever meet.

What I feel for them is not intangible. I can feel it pulse through my body. I want to know that they’re going to be okay, that they’ll be taken care of. I think about them and pray for them and want to do all I can to love them. I can’t look at the faces of these children without falling head-over-heels.

And I’ve taken the first step. I can give them my money, but they deserve more than that. Love is something more than talking, it’s something you do. I want love that is more than just giving money. I want to give with my hands and from my heart.

If I could talk to my teacher now, I think I would have a different answer.

Love is a verb and I want to live it.

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