This Must be What Love Looks Like
By Rachel Davis
I am sipping my coffee this morning, listening to the sounds of the streets in Bangalore, and reflecting back over my week here in India. It has been a full one: rich with conversations and experiences after visiting several of the Wellspring projects.
I heard the words “this must be what love looks like” in a story told by the director of one of our partner organizations. He told me about one of his staff members, Raj, who works in their media department. When I met Raj, I was immediately drawn to his beaming smile and impressed by the quality of his photos. The director told me how he joined their team. It was not the typical avenue of the job interview process. The story began when Raj was 8 years old. Raj is from the northern part of India, and his family life held little love. They struggled financially, his mother was emotionally detached, and his father was an alcoholic. One day, he and a friend decided to jump on the train and come back in the evening. He woke up on the train hours later and his friend wasn’t there. He tried desperately to get back home, but as a child with limited knowledge and resources, he was not able to find his way.
He found himself in Mumbai at a train station. In order to survive, he got involved in theft and drugs over the next several years. He was 11 years old when he first contemplated suicide. He was a child who believed his life was not worth living. That same year, he came to the mobile food truck that our partner project has in multiple locations in the city. The staff intentionally set up the feeding truck in areas where there are high amounts of people struggling with addiction and homelessness. The staff saw him and invited him to come live at their home for children. He came for awhile, but then ran away. The staff found him again at the station and asked him to come back. This cycle continued three times, and at that point, Raj said to himself, “This must be what love looks like.” He began to give up the fight and open himself up to these people and their God who had pursued him so relentlessly.
The staff walked the long journey of healing with him. They shared with me how often the stories do not have happy endings, and when they do, it is a long road. It is never a quick fix. The director went on to share, however, that his experience of working in this field and walking out healing with individuals has given him a greater understanding of the way Christ pursues us and the calling we have as believers to pursue others. He looked at me steadily and said this calling is not just theirs–it is for the whole church across the world. We must love patiently and relentlessly, he said, to reach those who are deeply hurting.
What a gift and crucial reminder for me–for us–of our call as Christ-followers to love relentlessly.
Rachel Davis is the Senior Project Analyst at RZIM Wellspring International.