Since launching the internet platform LovesIntention on Valentine’s Day 2016, it’s been an ever growing personal journey to embrace people authentically with a whole heart; espousing compassion, charity, and generosity of service. For nearly six months, volunteering weekly at Mercy Health Hospice, Brookdale Memory Care, and Riverview Terrace Retirement Center has revealed to me that people yearn for genuine connection. Through active listening, a comforting touch, and empathetic eyes, combined with respect and courtesy, most people experience feelings of joy and belonging. A good beginning of the LovesIntention movement.
A cynical, self-absorbed, and material world has short-circuited what we are hot-wired by divine design to do. Love God and one another. Giving unselfishly of time, energy, and talents does require reconnecting to God’s divine design of the soul. For starters, a state of mind requires vulnerability. Stepping out wholeheartedly to serve others demands the courage to vanquish fear. Being brave intentionally prepares the heart. Cultivating the mind and heart lays the foundation for LovesIntention.
Of course, not everyone gets it. Many are not even willing to show up for practice and study the rules book. Here’s our challenge. Consider that we are worthy to be loved. God of the universe made us for His creation on Earth. “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (Hebrews 11:3).
Recently I was asked by Roseburg Rescue Mission’s leadership to speak with the men at chapel time. Men that reside at the mission are required to attend chapel every evening. A pastor or laymen gives a 30 minute “talk” (as I would describe it) consistent with the vision of the mission: to establish and develop saving relationships with Jesus Christ among the homeless. While in healthcare leadership with the Department of Veterans Affairs for 33 years, speaking before groups was a honed skill. However, looking into the crowd of 70+ men was humbling. I saw broken men with vacate eyes, bent over in despair. Before and after the message, I went around the room to connect with intention. Through the conveyance of kindness, an assuring handshake, smile, and eye contact, I trust many men found a buoy of hope: LovesIntention.