25On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
26"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"
27He answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'[c]; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[d]"
28"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."
29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30In reply Jesus said: "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. 'Look after him,' he said, 'and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.'
36"Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?"
37The expert in the law replied, "The one who had mercy on him."
Jesus told him, "Go and do likewise."
This passage seems to be the passage of my semester. And, oh, what a hard one it is.
Some people would say that it is easy to love people, but are we in love with people?
Well, let's think about this.
Sure it's easy to "love" people, but what about loving unconditionally like Jesus Christ loves us? To surrender everything we have when we don't have anything to give. To pray for our enemies when we think they deserve the wrath of God and we hate them. To love our neighbor when it would take up our time and resources.
To love as if we were in love.
That's a little harder, huh?
Over a span of about two weeks, three God-driven people spoke at Campus Ministries events. They were Jess Jennings, Paula Fendley, and Laura Lee. And each time one of them spoke God taught me how to fall in love a little bit more.
On October 11, Jess Jennings spoke at the CORE. He is a founding partner of the Nehemiah Teams. He along with several other people with the IMB have come together to create ways for people with a passion to follow God's Word to mission in the Philippines. He, along with his wife and kids, has dedicated 17 years to God and the children, parents, and people in general of the Philippines. The ministry that God has given him has impacted malnourished children, spread the Gospel to indigenous mountain people, and, even, helped young college students see firsthand the need of God's people to be in places like the Philippines.
One of these college students is Paula Fendley. Campus Ministries sponsored the first ever Mission Night on October 14. This Mission Night was designed to highlight Judson girls who sacrificed their time over the summer, Christmas, or spring break.
Paula spent 2 months
in the Philippines
this past summer
nursing malnourished children
through Nehemiah Teams.
She told me a story over the summer of how she held a dying baby in her arms. All she could do was hold her and let the baby know it was loved. I write, "all she could do", but isn't that enough in itself? To forget the pain of having a dying child in your arms and knowing that there is nothing you can do, but love, unconditionally.
She was in love with this child. She felt the child's pains and
she loved when it hurt the most to love.
Laura Lee spoke at that CORE on Ocotber 18 and does similar things with her life. She has spent the past 7 years in a place that is stricken with HIV/AIDS, poverty that Americans can't understand unless seen, devotes her time to Kingdom Work, and is concerned with spreading the Gospel.
She is in love with the people she works with so much that it brings her to tears to be away from them. These people aren't her biological family or people that she has known for the majority of her life. They are people that God has told her to love, unconditionally. And she does. I have seen her pray for these people, cried for these people, and wished that she were around these people. Laura Lee is an example of self-sacrificing, in love, love.
All three of these people have followed Luke 10:37. They have shown mercy and followed Jesus' command to love their neighbors as themselves.
It's going to be hard for me to be in love with complete strangers, people I don't want to love, or deny my self in order to follow God's commandment.
This is a process and I am falling in love, slowly.
Another Lesson Learned,