I’ve been thinking a lot about grace and love lately; wondering how better to tear down walls and build bridges with our partners, groups and people of Houston. Stephen Sciolino says, “Love in its purest form is the most powerful weapon we have against hatred, indifference, prejudice, misunderstanding and divisiveness. The more we genuinely love, the more we understand that this commandment is life altering for everyone involved. Just as water rushing against hardened stone eventually erodes the stone, so love in action breaks down all barriers between people. It’s a commandment which works miracles and brings the Kingdom of God closer to reality.”
Beautiful isn’t it? This summer I have seen pure love in action. I got the opportunity to sit and eat lunch at this great little Cajun place with a middle school group this summer. In talking with one of the boys on the trip, I asked him how God had surprised him during the week.
He responded by saying, “Well, I was surprised to find out that homeless people are just like me. And so are the kids that we’ve been working with. They’re all just kids and we all need love. So I’ve tried to love them while they’ve been loving me.” All this from a brilliant 13-year-old from Tomball, TX. He’s right and so is Sciolino. The love of Christ is rich and free, says an old hymn, and I have seen that love displayed in the smallest of actions that made the biggest impact. Painting with college students, playing speed scrabble with my hosts, and in Paul being a great listener. I have seen love transcend boundaries in my new neighbor giving us some homemade pear preserves. Love bound up the brokenhearted when one of our groups offered up a simple, but genuine note of thanks to one of our partners who was tired and burned out.
In the light of Love, we are carried to the feet of Jesus and filled to overflow. I think each day I learn more about love, grace and sacrifice than ever before. As many of you know, I recently began a new adventure living in community in an economically depressed neighborhood in Houston called Third Ward. Community living has already opened my eyes to seeking grace and humility and I’m constantly figuring out what this pure love looks like.
-Britani Wade, CSM Houston Associate City Director