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Worth The Journey? To Love Or Not

By: Kenneth Stepp

I founded American Angel Works, a nonprofit I had hoped that would be a tool for me to help change one life at a time. Some of my stories about real love have come from this organization.

I wrestle with being an over thinker constantly. My journey from being nonjudgmental that began about a year ago has taken turns that are surprising. My capacity to love complete strangers so completely is the second biggest surprise so far. The first has been how others perceive that love.

Society has lost it's ability to understand real love. I am convinced of this because of the feedback I received from a recent rescue mission I engaged in. A homeless girl in Port Richie Florida. She was scared to death, her friend was raped and murder and she was forced to watch. This happened in Tampa. She escaped and walked to Port Richie. She hadn't eaten in three days.

So what does love do? I called every shelter and church in the area. Some had a "system" designed to decide if they "could" help. None would immediately. My lease was up, so I packed everything I owned in my Suburban a and headed south. Not sure how long I would be gone at all.

I sent emails explaining what I was doing. The responses we quick. Anywhere from, this was none of my business, fools errand, to even vilifying my motives. I'm glad I can still be surprised. I would have rather seen a more positive spin though.

Three people helped fund the trip. One is an old friend with a big heart, but very broke, the other was an old friend with a big heart, broke as well, but trusted my heart. The other was the mother of a missing girl I helped find years ago. The rest was on me.

Driving is my quiet, thoughtful time. And I have been driving a lot today. All of these people with negative thoughts about my trip south are wonderful people. I believe they are indicative of society as a whole. They aren't bad, just lost. But if told they were lost, they would defend their errant path to the death.

So what did conditional love see in my journey? It saw a person too far away to help, it had questions about why she was in this situation, it knew it had plenty of it's own problems, it only saw a situation.

What did unconditional love see? It saw a person that had less than it did, it saw a person that had not eaten in three days, it saw a fellow human, not a situation.

K@kstepp.com

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