I am constantly on the search for inspiration as I walk through my life. So often I’ve thought “Wow, there was a real lesson in that!” Recently Greg and I had the chance to sneak away to Maui for a week; I fully expected to find multiple sources of inspiration, especially in that setting!
My inspiration came in a huge and unexpected way; caused me to pause and watch the incredible power of love.
We woke up early packed and ready to head out on a catamaran trip to the Island of Lanai where we would have a chance to snorkel and enjoy a morning of incredible views. After checking in at the dock we were asked to wait in a line until everyone had checked in. While waiting I watched a family coming down the dock withtheir teenage daughter ( probably 13 or 14) who was in a wheelchair and experiencing some form of palsy that caused her rigid body to shake uncontrollably without ceasing.
I tried not to stare but found myself fascinated by the amount of love that was expressed to this young gal. Since there wasn’t a ramp on the boat Dad lifted his precious girl ( who was almost as tall as him) and gently placed her in a seat where she could feel the wind and see the ocean. Minutes later Mom proceeded to, carefully and with precision, attempt to feed her precious daughter while the shaking in her body continued.
As the catamaran proceeded to the Island of Lanai I watch as both mom and dad would sweetly talk with their girl, move a tuft of her hair from her eyes, and wrap their arms around her shoulder. All interactions with their daughter was through her eyes as she could not speak; her glee would show through her crooked smile. There was so much love expressed between them all. There was never a moment of irritation, exasperation, or frustration.
Upon arriving in the cove near Lanai, I was surprised as both parents, instead of getting all their own snorkeling gear on, were wrapping their girl in a floatation device and proceeded to take her into the water with them. It was incredibly special to observe the effort it took to make this experience a reality for their daughter; so selfless.
Wet and bundled in towels, we all headed back toward the Island of Maui. Sitting in front of me, this precious family snuggled tightly together…. then I saw the most amazing thing. Mom leaned in a wrapped her arms around her daughter, singing softley in her ear. For the first time all the shaking in her body stopped. I felt tears in my eyes as I could see the rich sense of calm that came over her rigid body; I was amazed at the soothing power of genuine love, selfless love, a costly love.
Sometimes loving others isn’t easy, it can be costly, tiring, challenging, or even confusing. But LOVE is always worth it. There is power in an authentic, selfless love. Watching these parents go the extra mile with their child whose entire wellbeing is dependant on their choice to love and support her in every way, challenged me to dig deeper when I am challenged to love ~ to go the extra mile.
Couldn’t we all use more moving example of love? I say “yes”!