My wife, Falguni, has always been a great inspiration to me, and I have learned so much from her. She never misses an opportunity to exhibit love to people in need. On one occasion, while Falguni was standing at her commuting spot waiting for her vehicle to arrive, she spotted a poor elderly woman. The woman certainly seemed to be in miserable condition. She was bent over, barefoot, and walking with the help of a stick. The woman came closer and gazed at my wife expectantly. Falguni felt pity to see that the woman had no shoes on such a hot summer day, and without hesitation she took off her own chappals (sandals) and gave them to the woman. The “unknown neighbor” walked away happily after receiving this little gift, and Falguni returned home with bare feet.
Falguni’s gift was certainly a great act of love. Overlooking or judging people in such situations is a common tendency, but resisting that temptation gives us opportunities to demonstrate Christian love. If I put myself into other people’s shoes, I realize how harsh and ungrateful I am being when I fail to help them. If I help others then I am serving like Jesus did, in the way we are called to in Matthew 25:40: “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (NIV). What if the good Samaritan only spoke a few words of sympathy to the injured traveler and went away? He would never have gotten special recognition by Jesus or served as an example to us today. Jesus teaches us to love in action, not just in words.
When we care deeply about someone, we seek their happiness and find out different ways to make that person smile. We can do that with our neighbors, even those we don’t know. Just saying nice words may not be enough—action speaks louder than words. And there are many ways we can show tangible love and kindness to people around us. One way I can love others is to set apart some money to be used to help those in need. That way I could buy a meal for someone who is hungry or offer a new blanket to someone who is cold. Of course, doing this will require some money and effort but it’s worth it. The old saying claims that money cannot buy happiness, but I think it can. Though we are not able to buy happiness for ourselves, surely we can for others. Love means making little sacrifices and giving priority to others. When we learn to make sacrifices, we learn to love.