August 15, 2011

The greatest of these is love

Something's wrong when a person is valued for where they live. Dignified based on financial numbers. Flocked to for prestige.

Something's wrong when a person is devalued for where they live. Undignified based on financial numbers. Avoided for lack of prestige.

Love is blind to address, accounts or affluence. Or it should be.

The LA Dream Center opened a door in my heart; opened a door into Los Angeles' Skid Row. Crammed 50 blocks of 4000 people, sleeping bags and cardboard, forming the nation's densest concentration of homeless people, carried on as usual.

Needles pierced toes for lack of strong arm veins. Rape victims screamed pain literally from the gutter. Urine wafted from crevices, strong in stench. Tents disclosed deeds paid for behind zippered doors.

Rivers of limping shopping carts and blanket pallets and drug deals and incoherent shouting didn't stop or change. But I did.

Kneeling on hot concrete, tucked head under Maria's beach umbrella. My knees burned on her temporary front porch scattered with needles, ants, and trash. My smile asked if I could visit. Her smile invited me under her multi-colored roof.

The trail she trod from El Salvador to Skid Row was littered with heartache for her son, her daughter left behind. Her U.S. employer died, leaving her without a home to clean; without a home to live in. She has no money, no connections.

And I was changed. Not by who she was or where she lived or what she had.

You see, she invited me to find shelter under her shade. We fell into a beautiful ease as she bore with my broken Spanish. Shared laughs and prayers and scriptures. Maria encouraged, spoke truth. She showed me love. Not for who I was or where I lived or what I had to offer.

For I had nothing but love. And I did love her and her weathered face and tattered home and sweet laughs.

No wonder Jesus says that's all that matters. Truly, truly, it is.
"The greatest of these is love."
~I Corinthians 13:13

Hey, friend? It doesn't matter who you are; where your heart has lived; what you have done. You don't have to bring or be or become anything to receive His great love. No, you simply invite Him in, share your story and love Him in return.

Beautiful ease.

3 comments:

Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

I love you, Sam. And God's love through you is always willing to peak under all of our roofs, whatever condition or location, to care for our hearts.

Praying for Maria this morning. I pray His love changes her life completely. I pray she is reunited with her children and family.

Hugs from under my umbrella,
Sharon

Kimberly (A Child of the King) said...

I'm with Sharon ^^. Praise God, Amen!! What lovely word to share today.

kristen marie said...

Moving piece Samantha!

I agree that Love SHOULD "be blind to address, accounts or affluence."

Never in any case should a person be devalued for what they do, what town they live in, what house they live in, etc.

I loved that you shared your experience and can't wait to hear more about it. :)