Friday, February 14, 2014

Retro Reality Check: The Faces of Love

Editor's Note: First published in February 2010

Love has many languages and also comes in many disguises. Among the faces of love are people like Mother Teresa, St. Francis of Assisi and Mary Magdalene. I’ve encountered some current faces of love that I wanted to share with you this month.

Stephen is a regular preacher who lives a regular life in a regular town. A few weeks ago, this town had an irregular snowstorm causing a lot of damage and loss of power. Stephen decided to shovel out the drive for the widow next door. He then headed to her neighbor’s house, owned by an 87-year-old lady who was also alone. Stephen shoveled her steps and walk, bringing her the mail that she had been unable to reach for several days. In the post was a check that the widow had been expecting for years, money that was desperately needed. She thanked Stephen and the Lord for giving her a good Christmas. She called him an ‘angel’ but Stephen said, ‘No, just a preacher with a shovel.’

William and Eunice have been married 70 years. The sweethearts have known each other all their lives, walking to school together, dating for a year and then marrying at 18 years of age. They pastored together for 50 years, raised a boy and girl, helped those in need and have been a blessing to all who have known them. Their road hasn’t been easy or carefree. Their son passed away twenty years ago. However, the years have been kind to this couple, their faces showing the results of lives well lived. William and Eunice radiate a love for God, for each other, and for those they meet.

I have a wonderful friend with a loving family and the gift of hospitality. In the last few years, she has undergone a battle that came close to taking her life several times. Walking through the wilderness of mental health issues, ‘Grace’ felt she had lost the love and presence of God in her life. Desperate and alone, she renounced the evil that had taken over her mind. Convinced there was no escaping an eternity of hell and separation from the Lord she loved, her days were a nightmare of voices, panic and terror.

Grace shared her story with a pastor and his wife. They spoke truth into her life, truth that was able to break the bonds that had ensnared her mind. Grace embraced this truth and realized that nothing could separate her from the love of God. She found that concentrating on the evil in her mind had kept her from running to the arms of her Savior. Her healing began on that day.

Today, through the love and mercy of a healing God, Grace is finding her way back to health. Her eyes radiate the peace and joy that once filled her life, but she is a changed person. Her thirst for more of God is greater than ever. She wants to know Him, to love Him with every fiber of her being. Grace had a calling on her life before entering the valley but now realizes that she is being refined as gold for the work that God has planned for her. Grace, in her desire to know more of God, exudes a love for Him that is powerful and humbling.

Love comes in many faces. I pray we seek to wear the face of the love of God in everything we do today.

Reality Check by Lorraine Walker first published February 2010 on SGM Radio Website
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