Work is love made visible. And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy. For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger. – Khalil Gibran in The Prophet
The author of the Letter of James in the New Testament writes that faith by itself is nothing. Without works faith is dead on arrival. In these lines from The Prophet, the poet tells us that work is love incarnate.
But he goes even further. He has the audacity to tell us that we need to have joy in our work. He even goes so far as to write that unless our efforts are motivated by love we have missed the mark so completely it would be better to do nothing.
Both writers have hit the mark. Our faith must find expression if it is to remain alive, yet everything we do can and should manifest the love from which that faith springs. Work completed joy is truly love made visible. It is love that can be tasted. And as such it is a powerful demonstration of a faithfulness that goes beyond empty words.