For the 31 years I pastored I was vitally concerned about finding ways to show that God still loves the world and that He has not stopped having mercy on us. We today have to be His love extended to the world.
I recall an article adapted from Mother Teresa’s book “Heart of Joy: the Transforming Power of Self-Giving”. Using Mother Teresa the point is made that we must not forget that love begins at hone. She convicts the heart that we are to know and befriend (if they let us) those who live life alone, those who are forgotten and those who are not wanted.
Mother Teresa relates the story of her finding a woman among the debris who was burning with fever. About to die she kept repeating, “It is my son who has done it.” Mother Teresa took her into her arms and carried the dying woman to the convent. On the way Mother Teresa urged her to forgive her son. Mother Teresa reported that it took a good while before she heard the dying mother say “Yes. I forgive him” and that just before she passed away she said it with a feeling of genuine forgiveness.
The woman was not aware that she was dying, that she was burning with fever or even that she was suffering. What was breaking her heart was her own son’ lack of love.
The Apostle John writes, “How can you say that you love God, whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor, whom you see?” He uses a strong expression for such an attitude: liar! John pens that “you are a liar If you say you love God but do not love your neighbor (1Jn 4:20).
All of us must understand that loves begins at home. Mother Teresa noted that in our day we see with growing clarity that the sorrows of the world have their origin in the family. Take time to look at each other, to exchange a greeting, to share a moment of joy. Take time for the elderly in the family and protect the unborn child.
One day we will stand before The Lord. What will we tell him about how we treated our parents, our spouse, that child, and our larger family? Knowing that God has invested all his love in creating we humans let’s make it a high priority to be able to tell God that we exhibited our love for Him by loving at home. Love begins at home.
(Equipping the Saints, May/June 1987, pp 6-7)