Loving people means summoning them forth

With the loudest and most insistent of calls:

It means stirring up in them

A mute and hidden being

Who can’t help leaping at the sound of our voice

A being so new

That even those who carried him

Didn’t know him

And yet so authentic

That they can’t fail to recognize him

Once they discover him

To love someone is to bid them to live,

Invite them to grow.

Since people don’t have the courage to mature

Unless someone has faith in them,

We have to reach those we meet

At the level they stopped developing,

Where they were given up as hopeless

And so withdrew into

Themselves

And began to secrete

a protective shell

because they thought they were alone

and no one cared.

They have to feel they are loved very deeply

And very boldly

Before they dare to feel humble and kind,

Affectionate, sincere

And vulnerable.

(Louis Evely, 1964)