Sincere Love

Paul instructed the church in Rome to honor each other above themselves. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Roman 12:12-13

My design is to bring the Good News of Jesus to the ends of the earth; my calling is to live out the Great Commission Jesus spoke to His disciples which echoes through every generation since to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

It is humbling beyond words can express when the ones I fundraised, traveled, and prayed in order to love on and minister to become the ones blessing my heart profoundly. When we are faithful to obey His voice and operate in our design, He is always faithful to encounter us and bless us with the needs of our hearts.

This last Friday, per the mistake of drinking a delicious cappuccino at 4:30 p.m., I slept no more than 2 hours, laying in bed all those hours with the sinking knowledge that Saturday was going to be a rough one.

Pastor, Morgan, and I on a tour of a coffee and fruit farm that our new friends Albany and Jose (previous post) own. In case you’re wondering…the cappuccino was worth it! Ha

We were set to go with Pastor Sebastião on a 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) hike through the rolling mountains of Minas Gerais. I soldiered through the day until 2 rolled around and we set off for the 40 minute drive to the hike. The winding roads did me in. I felt like I could displace my lunch; I certainly wasn’t about to hike for 2.5 hours. That’s when we realized his pastor friend would be joining, and as soon as I made it clear to Pastor Sebastião I needed to stay behind in the car, his friend’s wife came out of their house, pulling my nauseous, discombobulated self through the living room, down the hallway, murmuring a bit of Portuguese, a word here and there in English, “come”, before leading me into their bedroom, pulling back the covers, urging me to sleep (at least I believe that’s what she meant as she tucked me in!).

While the 2 gentlemen and Morgan had a 2.5 hour adventure in the rain in the stunning Brazilian countryside, I faded in and out of sleep, recovering ever so slightly over the afternoon from exhaustion! Every 30 minutes or so, I would hear the bedroom door creak gently open as sweet Çalenir (Sell-uh-neer) checked on me.

The love of Jesus overwhelmed me as I laid there processing the day. She didn’t know me from Adam, but she had given me her very bed and prepared food and drink.

Isn’t this “hospitality”? There is surely a place for presentation and cultivating an inviting space; and then there is giving the shirt off one’s back, pulling back the covers for the weary traveler, honoring the other, even the enemy, above ourselves (Continuing in Romans 12 v. 20-21)!

I thought of this as I lay there: she had no idea if I carried a virus! She just opened her home, and God protected us all from anything being passed around.

These lyrics by “Land of Color” resonate with what Jesus’ message was all about:

On my final day,
all that will count as gain
is the love I gave away!

Let’s give and give and give love. We have the Source of unending love in Christ, and this love is quite contagious!

stay lovely,
the tall girl

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