Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 42: March 26

Tuesday, March 26, 2013: Offering Love 

Psalm 71:9-14 “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. They say, ‘God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.’ Do not be far from me, my God; come quickly, God, to help me. May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” 

The Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio opened its doors on Feb. 26, 2010…sort of by accident. We weren’t planning to open that day, and in fact had very few medications on our shelves. But our director received a frantic phone call from a woman whose husband had already suffered three strokes, and she was terrified that he might not live through another one. Recently released from prison with a two-week supply of medication, he had no resources with which to purchase more. By God’s grace, the medication this man needed was one of the few we had in stock that day. 

Our director, Allan – compassionate man that he is – gave them directions to the pharmacy along with a warning that they would be our very first patients. Meeting us at the door, the woman gave both Allan and me a big hug, thanking us before we’d filled a single prescription. That day, and every day since, the Charitable Pharmacy’s staff and volunteers have provided our 2,000+ patients with much more than medications…we’ve also given them hope. 

Hope is precisely the commodity we as Christ-followers have to offer our fellow human beings. Jesus never promised wealth or health to his disciples; what he did guarantee was a hope-filled life in which God never leaves or forsakes us. 

God offers us hope…of forgiveness…of unconditional love…of healing…of eternal life. God’s hope never fails. 

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the hope you give us through Jesus Christ. Help us to find ways of offering your life-giving hope to the world around us. May we be a people of your grace and love. Amen. 

Mariellyn Dunlap, UMC Missionary – Church and Community Worker at the Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio 

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