Date: Friday, October 24
Scripture: Galatians 5:13-15
Verse: All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself. (Galatians 5:14)
In the very first church where I served as a pastor, I met a saint named Henrietta. Henrietta was one who always seemed to see the plight of those around her. Our church was suffering a difficult economic time. The biggest business in town was laying off employees regularly, and the community was beginning to feel the effect. Some of Henrietta’s family came to me one day, asking me to talk to her. She was giving away food, they told me, and she didn’t have all that much to begin with. The family wanted me to talk some “sense” into her. I understood. I would have wanted to do the same.
The day we chatted Henrietta taught me a phrase I have never forgotten: “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” For Henrietta, this was what it meant to love your neighbor as yourself. She could put herself in the shoes of those who were in need, and she wanted to give what she had. When we chatted, I remember her telling me about when she and her husband were first starting out, and didn’t have much. They were helped by caring people, and she felt she was just returning the favor some 40 years later.
I have always admired the way Henrietta thought. She saw the other, and loved them the way she would have wanted to be loved. Through the years I have met many other saints who do those very same things. Most times when I have spoken with them about it, they don’t understand why I’m so impressed. They will say things like: “I just listen,” or “It’s just some extra food,” or “Anyone would do the same thing.” Maybe so, but when you see someone loving their neighbor as they love themselves, it makes quite an impression, as my memory of Henrietta testifies.
Prayer: Teach me, Lord Jesus, to see the needs of others, and to love them as I would like to be loved in the same situation. Amen.
Action: Identify a person or two in your life who needs some love, and how you could love them as you love yourself.
Respond: Do you have a memory of one who loved others well?
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