We are all looking for love.
A place where we feel welcomed with open arms.
Somewhere we feel seen.
Some of us are fortunate to find it with our families.
Others may look to their friends.
But there are those who cross our paths daily who do not feel any of these things.
We may walk right past them without ever noticing.
Maybe we are consumed with what is happening in our own world or too busy to look up from our phones.
Whatever the case may be , we are all called to love.
To stop and care for all who cross our paths.
One of my favorite quotes comes from Mother Teresa:
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”
No one does this better than my friend, Nikki.
If you ask our tribe, we will all tell you that she has the biggest and most generous heart.
But it is not because of the love she shows to her friends.
It is the love she shows to everyone who walks through the doors of her restaurant on Main Street in the ’Burg.
She notices everyone who walks in the door.
All are welcomed with open arms or greeted with a hug.
Kindness shines through Nikki’s eyes and her smile.
She listens to understand, not respond.
She will tell you about the student she is so proud of who is working so hard or share a kind word with someone who needs a smile.
And while she may be gifted in making the best eggplant parmesan and barbeque chicken pizza, this is not what brings her joy.
It is being that safe place for others to land.
People leave with a full stomach and a full heart.
They leave better than when they walked in the door.
They are seen.
My friend loves with all her heart, because she knows she is loved.
Her faith tells her she is always welcomed with open arms.
That she is seen.
Let’s all be a living expression of that love today.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4: 7-21