‘Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.’1 John 4:8
Every week I spend an hour and a half teaching a young, sweet Indian woman our complicated English language. For the record, I would not want to have to learn the nuances of our language if I didn’t know it. Who made all of these rules? Aside from this, it is an interesting journey trying to teach the basics of a language I have spoken and written all of my life.
Last session Bella (I will call her this to protect her identity but chose it because it means beautiful) said to me, I not speak good but you understand me. She is so very grateful for something I take for granted. I feel like God has given me intuition to understand others well, whether it be accents, language barriers or about who someone is. I don’t want to take that for granted.
The last time we met, Bella spoke about wanting a different job. She is getting braver and wants something that will help to take care of her family better. So for our session this week I picked her up and took her to this potential place of employment. She told me she was afraid to ask and so I coached her about what she needed to say and stepped back as she stepped up. It was a bold move for her and she did well.
Unfortunately, you could only apply online. So I told her I would take her for a hot drink and we could figure it out. She doesn’t like tea or coffee and I encouraged her that in our freezing winters she needs to find a hot drink she loves. I bought her hot chocolate and think we found a winner because she slurped it up, fascinated by the contrast of cold whipped cream and hot chocolate. It was fun watching her experience something new.
She invited me into her apartment as I dropped her off. I had just a few minutes, but seeing her excitement, I agreed. She was so proud to show me her 1 bedroom apartment she shared with her husband and 2 children. It was sparsely furnished but it was theirs and dreams of a house lingered in their minds. Humble beginnings in a new country with meager belongings.
In the corner was a tiny Christmas tree, evidence of our culture mixing with their traditions. We have different beliefs Bella and I, hers Hindu and mine Christian, but this little tree allows us to speak of the differences and similarities. God’s love is universal and He delights in our sharing.
Bella’s home reminded me of Jesus. Humble beginnings in a new country with meager belongings. He came into our world a baby, born of a young virgin, in a barn. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23
Majesty in a manger, the extraordinary story of how our God reached out to love us. And so because of this love, I continue to reach out and love others He puts in my path. He was no respecter of persons so neither should we be. As in Acts, Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.”
Love God, love people is what we believe at Bloom church. It is a reflection of my heart and the heart of God. How can you show His love to others today?
Father thank you that you took such extraordinary measures to extend your love to us. Thank you for baby Jesus. Thank you for your love. Thank you for Bella, will you bless her and her family and the many others who are new to our country. Will you provide for them Lord and encourage them in this season. Be close to their hearts as they miss their families. As we go throughout our day, especially in this season, show us how to love others. Help us to be family to each other. Thank you that we are a part of your family. In Jesus’ precious name. Amen.