Jean Vanier writes, “To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.’
Much of the testimony of the gospels is the record of Jesus revealing to others ‘their beauty and value’ as individuals. His encounter with Zacchaeus, Mary Magdalene, Peter, various lepers and sinners and the unwanted was simply to be able to tell them, “You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.”
I think that Jesus said these things and acted on these ideas before he ‘did something’ for them. Love is not first a doing but an attitude of acceptance, forgiveness and understanding. Others are not won by giving gifts but by giving love. What greater love can we give or receive than to have someone tell us: You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself.
“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Jesus