Wow, it is hard to believe we are already thinking February, the month of “LOVE” and Valentine’s Day and candy and more snow and Super Bowl! However, I want you to think about the greatest expression of love that comes to your mind? Maybe your mind may go to a time when puppy love came on the scene, or you can reflect on those in your life nearest and dearest to you. However, the greatest demonstration of love I find in my life is Jesus, when he was willing to sacrifice everything for me and love me unconditionally that changed my life!
Now, Jesus calls us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and to have a deep love for others that calls us to love our neighbor in new and transforming ways. As we continue to look to 2017 a year of “SHOWING GOD’S LOVE” Our heart’s prayer is to allow Jesus love to shine through us individually and as a body brighter. I was recently challenged by a story of little girl who did just that, may we be encouraged by her example.
A former missionary named Milton Cunningham tells of the time he sat next to a young girl with Down’s syndrome on a flight from Atlanta to Dallas. As soon as Cunningham settled in for his flight the girl asked, in the purity of her innocence, “Mister, did you brush your teeth this morning? “A little awkwardly, Milton replied, “Well, yes, I brushed my teeth this morning.”
“Good, cause that’s what you’re supposed to do,” the girl responded. Her next question was, “Mister, do you smoke?” This one was a little easier on Milton. When he said no, the little girl answered with approval, “Good, cause smoking will make you die. “The third question was even easier to answer. The young girl asked, “Mister, do you love Jesus?” Milton answered with confidence, “Well, yes, I do love Jesus.”
“Good, cause we’re all supposed to love Jesus,” she replied. Just then, another man settled into the seat beside Milton. Immediately, the girl urged Milton to ask the new fellow if he had brushed his teeth that morning. Milton wasn’t about to disturb the stranger, but the girl wouldn’t leave him alone.
Finally, he gave in. He said, “Mister, I don’t mean to bother you, but my friend here wants me to ask you if you brushed your teeth this morning.” When the man noticed the girl, he realized that her question was innocent enough, and he answered that yes, he had brushed his teeth that morning. With a sinking feeling, Milton realized where this was going.
Next the girl urged him to ask the stranger if he smoked. Milton and the man went through the second question. And sure enough, the girl wanted Milton to ask the third question: Did this man love Jesus?
Milton protested that the question was too personal, that he just wouldn’t be comfortable asking it. Remember, Milton Cunningham was a missionary. But something in him made him uncomfortable about pursuing a spiritual conversation with a fellow passenger. But the young girl persisted, and so Milton said, “Now she wants to know if you love Jesus.”
At this, the man’s face darkened. He began to talk about his desire to know God. He was at a point in his life when he was searching for God, for meaning, for purpose in life. But he didn’t know where to turn. So Milton Cunningham finally took advantage of the opportunity God gave him through an innocent little girl to explain to the man the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
May each of us take the opportunity to share Jesus love this week.