Love and Perspective

During our Servolution Series last year we were challenged with looking for ways God is wanting us to serve others.  I think most churches and Christians would say they want to share the love of Christ with others, but sadly a lot of times it doesn't go any further than the stated desire.  My husband Ron and I began asking God to show us practical ways to serve our community and praying for him to send  laborers to Amplify Church with this same heart.

He is doing that and it is exciting and scary all rolled up together!

During this series my friend Pam told me that she felt like God was putting it in her heart to do something with the prison.

She tried to ignore the tug in her heart feeling very inadequate as a new believer and single mom.   She went back and forth in her heart and mind and  finally gave in when she was at dinner one night with one of her friends who just so happens to be over the education department at a State Prison nearby.

She went through all the background checks and screenings to be able to be a volunteer in the education area where she would be working.  Each visit she works with prisonors practically helping them to be prepared when they would be released.

Pam was told that she is the first person from a church to volunteer in this area in all of Northeast Florida.  Most churches, she was told, want to come and do a service, but have not been interested in volunteering in some other much needed areas.

I know this journey has not been an easy one for Pam.   The first morning she was scheduled to go she once again tried to bargain with God about maybe this wasn't the greatest of ideas.   I'm proud to say she pressed through the fear and trusted God to give her the strength she needed to walk this out.

After her last visit she told us that the guards at every check point asked her why she would volunteer to do this.  She left that day feeling like she had been there for them as much as the prisonors.  Putting human hands and feet to the love of Christ.

Jesus tells us in John 15:12

 "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."

That's a pretty big commandment...

not just to love,

but as He has loved us!

That kind of love is  hard for us to even comprehend.  But  I do know this.

As we reach out to love others as Christ has loved us, we see His love manifested.

We are missing the point as the body of Christ if all that love is used on serving the saved.

I LOVE that after a service on Sunday, where we have gathered together as believers, people are getting in their cars and going to areas of town to share the love that they have experienced with women on the street that have never experienced love. 

It reminds me of the Message version of John 1:14a,  "The Word became flesh and blood,  and moved into the neighborhood."

We become so engrossed in what we call problems that we miss the true issues of life and death going on around us.  Some of the things keeping us up at night would not even register as a problem in their life.

This week some ladies gathered in the cafe' at church and spent time writing letters to women in jail.

These letters were to let them know first that there are people praying for them and second, that they want to help in their journey.

As we looked through the stack of cards with the womens names, ages and date of release on them,

the ages varied as did the release dates.

I grabbed a couple of names of ladies that were born the same year as me. 

As I wrote to each lady I wondered...

was she married?

Did she have any children?

If she did, I wondered where they were and who might be caring for them.

In that moment the issues that too often fill the space in my mind seemed so petty.

The pointless disagreements with family members...

The unfinished projects...

The piles of laundry that need to be washed...

I could go on and on...

But everything seemed to be unimportant compared to the situation of the women that would be receiving my letter.

If they did have a house...

they weren't there.

If they did have a family...

they weren't with them!

They probably would love to be able to do some laundry,

well maybe!

I do know that the comments I heard that night from the ladies writing the letters were how spending time doing that brought perspective to their life.

That tells me something...

We need to put ourselves in situations that change our perspective.

Just this morning I spent some much needed time reading the Bible...

it changed my perspective.

Just like the letters being written to the ladies in prison to remind them

 they are loved...

they were created with purpose...

  God is seeking to be in relationship with them...

  Reminding them that the enemy of their soul has been defeated through Christ and encouraging them to accept and walk in that freedom.

Letters have been written to you ...

reminding you are loved...

you were created with purpose...

The enemy of your soul has been defeated, now walk in that freedom.

My prayer is that you take time to read those letters, not out of obligation or duty, but from a place of love.

Think about the words written...

receive them...

let them change you...

 then share them with others.

I promise it will change your perspective!