A question my daughter asks me. I love this! It is so much better than, “let me know if you ever need anything!”
1. It is immediate. Today! Not just sometime.
2. It indicates understanding that I need expressions of love — sometimes in deeds and not just words. Words are nice, but sometimes we need others to put their love into actions.
3. It acknowledges that she has responsibility and a need to show me she loves me. It is NOT just “the thought that counts.” Especially when those loved have no idea what you are thinking.
4. It puts some responsibility on me to think about what I need and what she is able to do. I must think about the question and articulate an answer. I must take some responsibility in expressing my needs to others in ways they can understand and possibly help with.
5. It expresses her willingness to listen to me express my needs and then to act on them.
I encourage you to try this. Ask someone, “How can I love you today?”
But when you do, be ready to listen to their answer. And do what they ask of you. If you are not prepared to put your love into action, I caution you not to ask the question.
Or you can ask it in a different way:
“May I love you by praying with you about something today?”
“May I love you by helping you with something today? Maybe make some phone calls or organize meals for you? I am stuck at home today, am able to love you by organizing meals for the next week or so?”
“I can’t get out today, but I am thinking about. Would you let me love you by going on a walk together later this week?”
Spend time praying about how to love your neighbor this week.
Then ask her, “How can love you today?”