“THE ESSENCE OF LOVE IS GIVING. THE ESSENCE OF LIFE IS LOVE.”
Chandler wrote these words on the inside cover page of his Bible. The theme of Chandler’s life is “One word: LOVE”. And for Chandler, living a life of love meant living a life of giving, and being righteous meant being benevolent.
Chandler’s life exemplified giving. He gave of his time, he gave of his energy, he gave of his resources, he gave of his talents, he shared his emotions and passions, he gave his heart and he gave his love. Really, he gave himself fully. Interestingly, one of Chandlers all-time favorite books to read as a child was The Giving Tree. He wanted to read it over and over and later in life even shared the story with his students in China. It is a story about giving all of yourself, even to the point of not having anything else to give.
Chandler understood that life is too short to not take advantage of every moment. He was characterized by investing in the lives of others, and he always gave 110%. Almost everyone he met and spent time with considered him to be one of, if not their best friend. Principal Zheng, at the Dandelion School in China said that he would usually skip lunch so that he could teach additional classes and that he would always stay after school to spend his afternoons and evenings with his students. She said that of all the hundreds of volunteers that have come to her school, she has never before seen someone give so much love, time and attention to the students as Chandler did.
He also gave himself fully to His Lord. Chandler used his talents in writing, singing and playing music to bring honor to God and express the beauty of life. He thrived on leading others in worship to the King! He also spent hours and hours alone in his room and out in the woods crying out in prayer and praise and reading his Bible. He gave!
The essence of our lives should be about giving ultimately because Christ’s life was about giving. Jesus loved and gave first. (2 Corinthians 8:9) That was His mission here on earth: to give hope to mankind. As it speaks of Him in Isaiah 61, “The Lord has appointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and to comfort all who mourn.”
One of the blessings the Lord has given me through my grief is opening my eyes and heart to those hurting around me. And there are a lot hurting people out there. They hang out at cemeteries. They are at the hospitals. They are living on the streets. They stay and eat at homeless shelters. They are in prisons. They are in nursing homes and orphanages. They live in extreme poverty in third world countries. They stand in the grocery store line next to you. They work with you. They are at your school sitting beside you. DO YOU SEE THEM? All too often we get caught up in the business of our life— activities, school, work, relationships, even church. All of these are good things, but we CAN NOT let them distract us from the pains and hurts of this world.
You see, ‘Love’ is an action word. Give. Go. Do. Loving isn’t about head knowledge, it is about acting on that knowledge. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do it for Me.” We do it for Him!
Now, as we enter 2013, may we ask our Father to open our eyes and to soften our hearts to the lost and the hurting people all around us. May this be a year of Giving! Will we be willing to “give, but give until it hurts”? -(Mother Teresa) “Give until you have nothing left to give; then give a little more.”- (unknown)
Thank you Chandler for GIVING to us and being an example of a true giver! May the Lord bless you richly in 2013! -Chuck and Christian
P.S. As our pastor, Joe Fauss, concludes almost every Sunday service: “Go- Find a need and meet it……Find a hurt and heal it.”
We are proud to share this short video presented to Chandler by the Dandelion School when he left China.