Friday, April 21, 2006

May the Love of Jesus Surround You

“May the love of Jesus surround you/ May the love of Jesus pour forth/ May the love of Jesus surround you forevermore/ In the hearts that have been broken/ In the hearts that have been torn/ May the love of Jesus surround you forevermore.” (Andrew Phillip, “May the Love of Jesus Surround You”

It all began on Monday. After giving up all movies and television for the season of Lent, the time had come for me to indulge. I wish I could say that my fast from television was simple, but it was an overwhelming struggle. Even though I rarely watch T.V. at home, the desire for it was greater than I ever imagined.

A few friends hosted a movie night directly after Easter in my honor. The couches were moved; the television was ready; the party was a go. “Invisible Children” came up on the screen (Check www.invisiblechildren.com to learn more). This film tells the true story of three college guys who set out to film the tragedy in Sudan. They ended up in Uganda, overwhelmed with the story of the children there. Thousands of children in Uganda have been abducted and forced to fight and to kill others. These children commute every night to sleep under hospitals and to hide. Thousands pile together, no adults present, and stay together as a family.

Tuesday came as a shock. Six months ago, a church a few hours away scheduled me to speak at a youth event and then a women’s conference next weekend. The associate pastor called me to ask if I was associated with a certain Christian leader. This leader has become an influence in my life, and his wife is a mentor to me. Because of that friendship, he banned me from his church. Even though I had spoken at the women’s conference at their church last year, he still will not allow me to come because of who I called my friends.

Wednesday, a 16-year-old friend had surgery on her legs. She gets around in a wheelchair, and this surgery should help her start standing. With both legs casted, she welcomed us with a smile. In the next hour, she laughed, joked, sang, danced, and rapped most of the lyrics of the most recent T.I. CD. Her beautiful attitude and welcoming spirit overwhelmed me.

Earlier that day, I ran into the grocery store to pick-up a balloon for my friend in the hospital. An older woman that has known me all of my life stopped me on my way into the store. Her friend has died earlier that day. “Caroline, I’m getting really tired of everyone dying. I am afraid that when I die all of my friends will be gone already. Do you promise to come to my funeral so I know that someone will mourn?” she asked. I told her that I was a guaranteed sure thing.

What do the wounded have in common?

The invisible children of Uganda, an angry pastor hundreds of miles away, a teenage girl in the hospital, a woman in Conyers who lost another friend, and another woman wondering how God meets all of these needs share one common bond. They are surrounded by the love of Jesus.

“May the love of Jesus surround you/ May the love of Jesus pour forth/ May the love of Jesus surround you forevermore/ In the hearts that have been broken/ In the hearts that have been torn/ May the love of Jesus surround you forevermore.” (Andrew Phillip, “May the Love of Jesus Surround You”

2 Comments:

Blogger will smama said...

Well "spoken".

Amen.

12:27 PM  
Blogger will smama said...

Well "spoken".

Amen.

12:27 PM  

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