By Jo Ann Carpenter
The Beatles sang this song in 1967. But God proclaimed His love for us long before any love song was written.
Actually, God presented us with the perfect example of love when He sent His Son to suffer and die for our sins. I know God loves me, but not just me, everyone! I am nothing special until I share His love with others so that they might see Him through me.
I will be giving the devotions for the Meal Ministry every Monday night this year. I am excited to be reading scriptures from the New Testament that reveal God’s love and instructions about how to love for all of us. When I see so many of our dinner guests alone and struggling, I want to reach out and touch them with a love wand which would allow the feeling of being loved to flow through their entire body.
As you know I do not own such a wand, so I will use the correct way and share God’s love through scripture and action. That is what we do at the mission. Yes, we feed and shelter people, but we do it because of the love we have for them. God’s second greatest commandment is to love others.
Have I ever told you a comment that absolutely breaks my heart? I have heard this too frequently from a man or woman who is in a very dark place in their life. “My family hates me, my friends don’t talk to me, I lost my kids, and I have done time in prison because of the bad things I did. So now you are telling me that God loves me after all that? How can that be, I don’t see him, I don’t feel loved,” they often have said.
Standing before them as a real person they can see and hear, I tell them, “I love you because God loves both of us. And He wants you to love Him back.” That is still not enough for them. Remember, they have hurt others, and themselves, and they are skeptical.
Now, we as an organization, have the chance to show them, love, through the services we provide at Refuge of Hope. We have the opportunity to build a relationship with them from God’s love!
I really wish I could tell you after two weeks they suddenly feel loved. Sometimes it takes years, and maybe we will never see the change in them. But God did not say just love them while it feels good to you, or for a while. He said to love each other! And so we do…
Just in case no one has told you today, allow me to say, “I love you!”