Thursday, February 16, 2012

Love and Plans

Friends, we serve an amazing God. 
As I drove to El Callejon this morning, my mind was still on my lesson for the Young Women, but with much more of an openness for wherever God was going to lead.  I thought about my desire to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, which made me think of how much He loves us.  How everything changed because of that love.  Love. 

I got to El Callejon and wrote “pero no tengo amor, no soy nada” (but if I do not have love, I am nothing).  This is, of course, from I Corinthians 13.  I wanted to hear the women’s perspective on love, especially within their ‘marriages’.  To hear their thoughts on the ‘love’ chapter.  And, I wanted to be able to remind them of God’s great love for us in Jesus. 
I waited.  A little before 10 one woman came.  The weather and other things kept the others away.  For one moment, I wanted to just cancel.  Take the easy way out and thank her for coming and tell her we’d try again next week.  But, God had answered my prayer, and sent just the person He wanted to come. 

So, Leocadia and I met.  I was determined to not just launch into our lesson, but live it. If I have the perfect lesson on love planned out, with lots of important thoughts, but don’t actually show love by caring about the other person, I am a noisy gong –or, in El Callejon, a crowing rooster!
And so, I asked her about herself, her family, how she spends her time, what she likes to do. She lives a ways outside of El Callejon, but likes to come to the Site to be refreshed by learning more about the Bible, and to be able to share and talk about things she can’t elsewhere.   
When I told her I wanted to share a passage of the Bible, she eagerly grabbed a Bible, and asked if I wanted her to read it out loud.  Yes, please!  Hearing I Corinthians 13 read in Spanish made me stop and really concentrate on what it said. 

At times I dismiss this chapter because I’ve heard it so many times.  But, sitting and talking with someone who was not familiar with it added new life to my understanding of the passage. 

We talked about why ‘romantic’ love often seems to fade away.  How a lot of times we look to the other person to be our everything, when they cannot be.  How much we still need to learn about loving others the way Jesus loves us.  How love is not always easy, but when we ask God for His strength, He gives us the ability to love with patience and kindness.     
As we talked, Leocadia shared stories from her life.  She told me about the premature birth of her daughter – just 3 pounds 5 ounces.  How eleven children were delivered in the hospital that day, and only her baby lived. 

How she didn’t know what to name her, and so opened her Bible and saw Génesis.  The doctor said it was a strange name, but she told him that was going to be her name.  How Génesis has remaining health concerns, but is a growing four-year old. 
As our time ended, I asked if there were ways I could be praying for her.  All her requests were for her three children.  That’s love.

If the other women had been able to come, I don’t think we’d have had the opportunity to have such a great conversation.  Allowing the Spirit to guide things, in His way and in His timing, allowed me to share His love in a way I would not have been able to had I kept to my plan.  Today was nothing that I had worked out, and that made it perfect.

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