Monday, March 4, 2013

Imagine No Malaria-Lenten Devotion Day 20: March 4

Monday, March 4, 2013: God’s Love Completes Us 

1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 

"Give me five, on the side, up high, down low...too slow," I say as I go through the motions of a little game my four-year-old nephew at home loves too. 

Here in the mountains of Jamaica, the rich, mahogany hands of the bravest four-year-old boy at the preschool contrast so sharply with my Minnesotan, February-pale ones. 
As we continue playing, suspicious uncertain looks or shy smiles are replaced with breathtakingly beautiful, missing baby-tooth revealing smiles and the sound of gleeful laughter and the chorus of "again" and "my turn" fill the air. Our work team finds welcome and acceptance as we begin the journey from strangers to friends. 

I haven't had the chance to travel as much as I hope, but the travel I have done confirms what my friends, who are true global travelers and volunteers have said, "people everywhere are more alike than they are different." 

Each child is a child of God, filled with promise and hope; each child's unique laughter is a gift from God to the world. How blessed are we when we have the chance to share love and care for children in whatever way is appropriate: helping to build a preschool, playing a simple game, reading a story, or sending a bed net to the other side of the world? We are so blessed, that in doing so, according to this passage from First John that God is present in us, and we are made complete. 

Prayer: Thank you Lord, for the many opportunities you give us to make your love and our joy complete as we love and care for your children. Amen. 

Rev. Brenda North, Detroit Lakes UMC, 
Minnesota Conference 

Dodo Koua, 5, smiles after her father hung an insecticide-treated mosquito net at their home in Bonous, Cote d'Ivoire. A UMNS photo by Mike DuBose. 

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