I know people who love until it hurts. Maybe I'm one of them, but I haven't quite decided that yet. How you ask, is it possible to love until it hurts?
Love is supposed to be this wonderfully fuzzy feeling - this feeling of closeness and of care for another human being.
Yes. That is love, but that's not loving until it hurts.
The sermon in my church last Sunday was given by a man who loves until it hurts. I think this man may even love beyond hurt.
He is an evangelist who is passionate about destitute children.
Before I turn off all the non-church going readers out there, let me say that's not my point.
He is just one man I've seen who loves like this.
Another person more visible in the area is Jan Turner. She loves until it hurts.
Jan is the executive director of Shepherd's Fold, a ministry hoping to soon establish a home for women undergoing life problems.
She sees these faces of pain, hears their hurt and sees their need.
It must hurt to look into the eyes of a pregnant homeless teenager and to feel her pain. It must hurt to say "No, we don't have a place for you yet."
This pain would go away for Jan if she were to ignore the need and pretend it wasn't here, but she doesn't; she loves until it hurts.
There are many others in this area who share this sort of love for others.
It hurts to walk into a room full of prisoners to evangelize.
It hurts to see an abused child and to report it to the authorities.
It hurts to go diving in the lake for a body so the victim's family can have closure.
It hurts, but it's love.
I'll be the first to admit that not everyone has the heart to love in the same way.
Some of us couldn't handle the pain of seeing abused children. Others get a bit nauseous at the thought of recovering a body from the lake.
Each of us are fashioned for different things, including the way we love.
Just don't love the easy way all the time.
Find a way to love until it hurts, because your love will help take away someone else's pain. It's a different sort of feeling to take away someone's pain. It isn't the warm fuzzy feeling of joy the world defines as love. It's greater, deeper and stronger to love until it hurts.
"A sense that someone else cares always helps because it is the sense of love." - George E. Woodberry
Anitra Wolf is the editor of the Dickinson County News and a native of Alta.