Much has been written about love. When you first hear the term, you may think of romantic love, but that type of love is not the focus of this blog post. I am referring to the love that brings a heart-level care and concern for the well being of others.

To many, love is a concept. We know when we see it, but many of us have trouble describing or displaying it with words. In reality, sometimes words aren’t even necessary.

Just the other day during a coaching session, my client Todd* made a statement that totally caught me off guard. He had just returned from a WinShape trip sponsored by Chick-fil-A. This trip was focused on helping orphans in a third world country.

Todd said, “You know Tim, love can stink sometimes.”

My first thought was in the direction of his Life Plan. This caught me off guard because I knew – or at least thought I knew – that he was in a good place with all of his accounts. I was right. He was talking about his trip!

Could love stink on a trip to help orphans?

Todd told me that after he arrived and embarked on his mission, there were times when his surroundings just didn’t smell very good. To follow through with his intention of helping these beautiful children, he had to travel thousands of miles, invest several days and nights away from home and work, and even at times, work in the presence of a distinctly foul odor.

Taking action that flows out of a heart-level care and concern for others can stink. But you don’t do it for the aroma; you do it because that’s what is in your heart. Love can be uncomfortable, but you don’t love for comfort, you love because it flows out of your heart.

Todd said that, after a while, the smell was gone…but the love lingered. He fell in love with those kids, and he plans to travel back there again. He doesn’t expect it to be comfortable, and he doesn’t even expect it to smell good all the time. He only expects the opportunity to show his love for those kids.

Have you been afraid to love or serve because it might be uncomfortable? Well, you’re probably right. Do it anyway.

What is it that you already know you can or should do to show your love to others? Is there a community you can serve? An ailing relative you should visit? A difficult conversation you need to have?

Commit in your heart to make it happen. Then put some skin in the game by telling someone else what you will do, and when you will do it.

Then just let the love flow out of your heart.

*Shared with the client’s knowledge and permission