Last week, we discovered this quote from Jean Vanier:
“To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’ We all know well that we can do things for others and in the process crush them, making them feel that they are incapable of doing things by themselves. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.”
-From Brokenness to Community
This quote is a great guide for us as we seek to connect our neighbors based on their gifts and interests. It is powerful to look at a friend who has been trafficked and to convey to her the message “You are beautiful. You are important. You are gifted. There is a light shining in you.” That is not a message she has often heard. As I journey with this neighbor, I am paying attention for ways to reveal the light that is shining in her. I think she has forgotten her capacities for life. Sometimes we are both blinded by the shadow of her addictions and we forget the light that is shining underneath. With each interaction I want to expect the light instead of dreading the shadow.