I hope that as you read this blog today that you have already experienced an expression of love- it is the day for it!- whether that’s been a hug or a card or a note, whether it’s been what you expressed to someone or what you have received from a dear one, whether it’s your sweetheart or a family member or a new friend. May today be a celebration of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ!
I’m reflecting today on the overwhelming abundance of love we’ve been experiencing so far here in the Philippines. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming and hospitable! These beautiful people are all smiles and embraces, outwardly demonstrating the love that dwells within.
The people we’ve been meeting with have been sharing great love- love for partnership, love for helping one another, love for working for peace and justice. All components of a good loving relationship are visible from everyone around the table- laughter, trust, vulnerability, patience, humility, a desire to work together, kindness, an openness to discuss difficult topics, gentleness, a space to hear, a confidence in being heard. Our time has been loving, our meetings are sacred.
Today’s meetings have been with the PAG, or the Philippines Advisory Group. This is a body that comprises PWRDF partners here, a forum for sharing ideas, networking, exchanging stories, supporting one another in mission and ministry. It’s a network that exudes loving service, and it’s an incredible honour to be invited here to witness and participate in such a meeting.
Of course, there is business to attend to in these meetings: today folks were discussing human rights and advocacy and solidarity and youth involvement in justice as peace. My notebook is filling fast with ideas and quotes and inspiration which will be put to use once back in Canada.
We finished our time together today by attending the One Billion Rising
event at Thomas Morato Avenue. The OBR is a worldwide event aiming to stop violence against women and children trough awareness and empowerment. Here, as many thousands gathered, we danced and sang and laughed- and loved.
So I hope that today you feel love. I hope that you will be open to the joys of giving and receiving love as an expression of faith. I hope that we all celebrate the presence of the source of all love. After all, as the song from Les Mis declares, “to love another person is to see the face of God.”