Unconditional Love, I am Thankful for it

Posted by Richard Harris | Labels: , , , , | Posted On Tuesday, May 18, 2010 at 1:21 PM

There just are not a lot of people around today where I work. Most are at home getting ready of family or traveling to a vacation spot and my guess is that many of you are going to be reading this on the other side of Thanksgiving. Good for you.

I pondered many times over what to write on Thanksgiving since we have covered giving thanks in some recent devotionals. Then this morning I was heading down the empty halls at work the Lord put into my mind someone I had not thought of in a while. The thought brought a smile to my face and I was thankful that I had known this person so I thought I would share my experience with her.

I have been at the church I now serve for eight years now and have had the privilege to meet several unique people, Carolyn was one of them. She was a different sort of person. Before I came I had been told she had cussed out one of the previous ministers which brought a smile to my face then and a bigger one now. Through some horrible events in her life Carolyn was left crippled in all aspects of life. She walked with a cane and her voice was slurred from strokes she had suffered through.

She never missed a Sunday, her husband always had her there and until some more health issues arose she was always right up front. She had some interesting worship habits that made my life interesting. At times she might blurt out something right in the middle of a sermon, I would attempt to rebound without loosing focus and the focus of others.

Another habit she had was right in the middle of my final point, as I was driving home what I wanted people to take home with them she would almost always get up and head out of the worship area. She would walk right down front you could not miss her. Note, she did not move very fast so it would take a good while for her to get from her set in the pew to the door leading to the back of the church. I could just see every eye in the house following her slow movements as I tried to get their attention back. No matter what she did we all understood and really it just did not bother me.

Carolyn made my life interesting; I smile at the thought of her walking down the aisle at some large church and how they might have handled it. I am glad she never got to find out because I am most thankful that she was at my church, walking slowly down my aisle.

She had one more habit that I will never forget as long as I live. As I stood at the back door greeting people after service, Carolyn always made her way to me. She would grab my hand with her crippled hand while holding her cane in the other. Then in her slurred voice she would say, “I love you”. At that point my day was made, I loved her too.

She loved not with conditions; she did not love me because I was a great speaker, those who come know better than that. She did not love me because she was on a committee or because I appointed her to some position. She did not love me because I had done anything for her, she just loved me.

She has since gone on to be with the Lord. No longer is she handicapped, the Lord has given her a new body and I am glad of that. I miss her and what I miss most is that unconditional love. Love without conditions is what people crave most in this world; it is what they rarely receive. That is what makes the Carolyn’s all the more special.

As I pull myself up to the table to give thanks tomorrow, my heart will drift toward those who love me without strings attached. Those smiling faces around my table, I am richly blessed. Then I will turn my heart toward God and thank him for the fact that though I don’t deserve it; He just loves me.

Scripture: 1 John 4: 9-10, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Prayer: Dear Lord, we pause and give thanks for your love, especially since we don’t deserve it. Praise you Lord for your love endures forever, In Christ Name, Amen.

all simple/truths are written by richard harris

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