I don’t know if you remember Labor Day when you were in AIM, but I specifically remember that on Labor Day, we labored.
Now I worship with a group of people that are carrying out that same idea. This Labor Day we will labor. There are lots of things at the building that can be done and I’m sure we’ll have some fun while we’re doing it.
When it was announced on Wednesday night I was reminded of the Labor Day when I was in AIM. If my memory serves me correctly (which it rarely does) I believe that the group I was with went out by the Heritage Apartments on 4th Street. We went through that neighborhood offering to mow lawns, pick up trash, etc. We wanted to help people … show them that there were some people left in the world that did good things for others.
We met a girl that was very interested in getting to know us better. She needed some friends. She visited the apartments once in awhile and began to develop a relationship with some of us. She came banging on my door in the middle of the night one time … she was terrified. Some old memories had started creeping up on her and she had gotten really scared. She stayed the night with us so she could feel safe.
She ended up having to go to a facility for a while to work on some things in her head that she couldn’t get settled down. I can remember going to visit her. I was so scared. I had never been in a place like that before. We had a good time and eventually she was able to leave for a few hours a week to go to movies with us. I would like to think she was encouraged by that.
I don’t know what happened to her. I’m not sure that we had a lasting impact on her or showed her Jesus in the way we intended. But I know that she had a lasting impact on me. I think of her often and wonder how she’s doing. That relationship helped me learn to love and to give even when someone appears to have nothing to give in return.
Jesus loves us like that. He loves us “anyway”. I read in a book that “God’s love is not if or because, it’s always“. I like that. I think it’s impossible for us to love unconditionally, but He gives us the example to follow. For while we were still sinners He died for us … while we were still enemies … He saved us.