1 Corinthians 13:1-3 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
It comes as no surprise that we live in a broken world. Seems to me, as a school chaplain, that young children are often the victims of the brokenness and pain of their parents. The loss of innocence, the state of confusion and trauma that they have to navigate through are the results of the selfishness and sinfulness of the adult world they are raised in. The following two situations occurred this past week at school. Names have been changed to protect the privacy of each student.
Molly in all her six-year-old excitement looked across the table at me, bursting with news that made her blue eyes shine brighter and her delightful smile grow wider. But what came from her mouth, made my heart drop like a lead weight and brought deep sadness to my spirit. “I have two mummy’s” she said, “and they are getting married!”
“Where is your daddy?” I stammered.
“I don’t see him anymore, and it doesn’t matter cause I have two mummy’s instead.”
I was speechless. Such an attractive, vivacious girl who is already, at such a tender age, being robbed of the blessing of God’s ideal and accepting the lie that two mothers are better than a father and mother united together in marriage.
On another morning, Luke came to a new school accompanied by his mother. He was distraught clinging tightly to her. Though she tried to pacify her son, he would not listen. Standing beside them I watched this scene unfold. Luke built himself into a hysterical state sobbing uncontrollably and declaring that he wanted to go home to be with his dad. Prying herself away from Luke, the mother inched her way to the car, her son following behind. I watched and wondered why this young man was so hysterical and what were the circumstances surrounding his anxious and emotional behavior.
Later, as I sat with Luke and heard his heartbreaking story, I learnt that the day before without any warning, Luke’s mother had left her partner and moved to a new town. Luke had been torn from his father, whom he was very close to. In a state of grief and deep mourning he was enrolled in a new school the following day. Amazing. The boy was clearly not in a state to be left alone with strangers or to be introduced to any new and unsettling situation. How could he possibly assimilate into a new school when he was still grieving for what had been normal just 24 hours before?
I could go on with other occurrences but the message, even from these two situations is clear. People live far from God, and without Him make messy choices, of which children are the fallout. What is to be our response? Do we ignore them and walk away when we have the opportunity to help? Do we offer a platitude, or a warning to admonish them, and hope we don’t have to run into these people again? Do we offer a prayer and thank God that we don’t live like that? What would Jesus have us do?
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 Love is patient and kind; love does not, envy or boasts; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
We are to imitate Jesus who loved so much that He gave, even His life. We will most likely not be called to give our lives in order to love those who do not have the Father’s love in them. But there will be a myriad of other ways we will be called upon to love those who are far from Christ. And each person will be brought closer to the Savior as they experience His love in us. In little ways. Simple ways. A word of encouragement or a smile for a hurting child. A hug when they are crying. A prayer when they need comfort. A word of encouragement when they are feeling scared or timid. These little gestures make a difference when another is in need.
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
It’s easy to stand on our soap box, point the finger, find fault and blame. However, Jesus never told us to do that. We are commanded to love. There is only one thing needed just now and that is our faith in Christ, working itself out in loving others.
‘Father, forgive me for judging people that do not know You. It is too easy to grow arrogant and proud, forgetting that in doing so I too am guilty of sin. There is one thing You have asked of me LORD, and that is to love one another. Help me to do according to Your will. Thank you.‘