love does

I can’t believe I have been here only 6 full days! So much has happened, it feels like weeks! And yet at the same time, we have really had a very relaxing week, sometimes wishing we had more to do. Rachel and I spent most of this week just being here at the school, waiting for someone to tell us what we would be teaching, how often, to whom, etc. We finally found that out today, so now we can begin the real work!

Before I left the States, I read a book called “Love Does,” by Bob Goff (recommended by Rachel!). Since being here, I have pondered the basic “love does” idea quite often. Rachel and I have many goals and aspirations for this trip, but the biggest one is to simply love. But love is not just a feeling. First and foremost, love is action. Love does.

Rachel and I decided to give something to every beggar we see. People, even Christians, think we’re crazy or weird when we give to the second or third beggar, but we know that love does. It doesn’t just say, “Go, be warm and well fed!” It does something. We wish we could do more, and maybe someday soon we will.

Today, we went to church in a huge metropolitan part of Beijing. We were there early so that we could ask someone to help us exchange our US dollars for Chinese RMB. As we came up to the building, I saw foreigner who I figured would speak English coming out of the service that was finishing. He had a Chinese wife with him, so I thought he would be the perfect one to help us. I stopped him and asked if he knew of anyone who could help us exchange money. He said he didn’t think the banks were open on Sunday. I said I had been to a bank before on Sunday (my last trip), but that I mostly just needed someone who could speak Chinese. Someone he knew at the church maybe? He said, “Sorry, I can’t help you,” and walked away. As Rachel can tell you, I was stunned. I was ashamed that someone would come out of a church appearing to be a follower of Jesus, and then take no interest in helping someone else. I am worried that maybe the love of Jesus is not in that man yet, because he wouldn’t do anything. And love does.

With that concept still in my mind, Rachel and I went over to the closest little supermarket with the other foreign teachers (Angela, Michelle, and Andreas). I wasn’t buying anything, but saw a little girl, probably 2 or 3 years old, with the 1 Yuan her mother had given to pick out something. That’s the equivalent of 15 cents. The girl searched and searched in the candy section, but couldn’t find anything less than 2 Yuan. I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to do something. This little girl wasn’t starving, she wasn’t begging, and getting a piece of candy wasn’t going to change her life. But maybe a little love would. And love does. So I bent down and gave her 2 more yuan while her mother was still in a different section of the supermarket; I didn’t know how to explain it in Chinese. The girl looked up at me, surprised and confused. I just smiled, trying to tell her that I wasn’t asking her for anything, she could just have it. By then, all my friends had checked out, so we left. Rachel and I walked down into the street market further to find fruits and vegetables. In the middle of searching for some cucumbers and onions, I heard a little Chinese person speaking very quickly. I looked up to see that little girl with her mother pointing at me and holding the piece of candy she had bought. Her mother brought her over so she could say thank you. I asked for her name, and learned it was “han han.” Or something like that. Maybe I will see her in the market again. Maybe we will be friends. Maybe she’ll meet my best friend because she met Love. And love does.
What can you do?


  1. Great thoughts, Shelby! I am praying for you and Rachel as you bring Christ' love to those you meet. Just remember that there are some things that love does not do. While love does extend help to those in need, it does not judge those who don't help for their inaction -at least we dont however, God might.


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