by Karen Johns
Sometimes I sit in church or reading my Bible at home, and I wonder why I don’t often feel the all-encompassing love of God mentioned in the Bible so often. Am I worshipping wrong? Is my heart not right with God? I have to constantly remind myself that the love spoken of in the Bible is never a passive word. It is not an emotion we need to somehow conjure up in our hearts even though we don’t feel it.
The love spoken of in the Bible is always a verb, an action word. Keep your eyes open when you’re out in the world, and you see God’s love all around you – hundreds of times a day.
Every Wednesday and Friday afternoon at Lord of the Mountains' Day Services for the homeless, I see God’s love in action:
There is Larry Cope, spooning out steaming bowls of his homemade Louisiana Gumbo for our Day Services friends.
There is Doug Bair running up and down stairs cooking up pies that he has bought and making cheese bread to go with the gumbo.
There is Amy Simper handing out colorful homemade masks she has spent hours sewing to keep everyone safe.
God is love. Pass it on.
I watch and listen to the men sharing their stories, laughing with each other, commiserating with each other. One man is living in his car because a rock ruptured his gas tank, and with the bus service not running, he cannot get to work. Another man who is listening says, “I have enough gas in my tank to get down to Denver and back – let’s find you a used gas tank.” Another man says, “I have a friend who is a mechanic. He will replace the old tank for $200 instead of the $1200 the local auto body shop quoted for you.” I chime in, “Our Love One Another Fund (LOAF) will contribute the $200 you need to pay for the new tank and labor to install it.” Another man, who is working at City Market, says, “We’re looking for someone to help on the loading dock if you’d like a job.” God is love. Pass it on.
As I am leaving church after service this Sunday morning, a car full of our Day Services friends are in the parking lot, and I roll down my window to say hi. One man says, “If you guys need some yard work done this spring, we’d be happy to come help you clean up the property. You’ve been really kind to us, we’d like to pay you back somehow.” God is love. Pass it on.
When I am working at our local hospital as a chaplain, I watch doctors and nurses tirelessly doing their jobs with gentleness and care, always speaking to our patients with respect and concern for their well-being and offering hope for recovery. During break they gather in the break room and wolf down delicious food that has been brought in by one local restaurant or another, a gift from our food service workers to our health care workers. God is love. Pass it on.
God’s love is all around us; in Him we live and breathe and have our being. Keep your eyes open. Pass it on.