It's really hard to truly love people sometimes. And as I payed attention to the way I interacted with the people around me, I realized how much each person needs to feel like they are truly important, as each person is truly important. When my best friend Tiffany asked me what was weighing on my heart, I told her that it was the idea of loving people out loud, to which she replied that she knew what she was getting me for Christmas. She knew the perfect Christmas present for me based on my want to love better, which is an incredible love in itself.
Tiffany and I gave each other Christmas presents. I had given her a book called "Love Does". Tiffany gave me my Giving Key.
She explained Giving Keys and the incredible way that the present worked and turned the key over to show me the message. "LOVE LOUD".
I was kind of ashamed as I walked away holding onto my key and blinking back tears, because one of my first thoughts was that I never wanted to give this key away. I had never received a gift that I needed the way I needed this key. So I prayed. I prayed that God would show me the person who I needed to give the key away to, when I needed to, and that I could give it away without any second thoughts. I wore my key every day, held on to it when I felt like I wasn't loving like I should be. It was a reminder that I needed and that started to become something I thought about whenever I interacted with anyone.
When I went back home for Christmas break, I took a student who I had mentored, Abby, out. We talked about how hard it is to Love and she explained how she didn't want to be kind to people who had hurt her. And then without thinking, I had put the key around Abby's neck. I explained what it was, how I wore it every day to remind myself to Love. She listened to my every word, nodding, and slipped the key under her sweatshirt.
And I hope that Love rang louder in the silence of my little black Rav 4 than any music, or shouts, or sound ever could.