–November of 2010
“By This Shall All Men Know…”
God has the most remarkable way of placing little object lessons in our path to remind us of the things that are most important. He has them the tucked away in the most unlikely places just waiting for the right moment to spring them. This happened to me recently while standing at the back door of a church where I had just finished preaching the final service of a revival meeting. The church is a growing congregation of good folks from a primarily rural area. They have a number of exciting ministries one of which is a ministry to adults with various challenges. The church provides this group with their own special Sunday school class and in turn the group participates faithfully in the worship services – usually sitting right up front.
One of the ladies in the group, Robin, has Down Syndrome. Robin lives with one of the church families where she has received loving care for over 26 years. Robin is known for her exceptionally mild disposition and loving manner. She loves the animals on the farm and has spent the entire day in the barn just petting the goats. Once when a baby deer happened along, Robin’s caregiver saw her standing in the back yard with the little deer – each enjoying the others company.
As I stood at the back door shaking hands and sharing good-byes, Robin and her family joined the line that was winding its way passed me and out the door. One of the family members whispered to Robin, “Why don’t you give him a hug” and pointed to someone standing right behind me. Robin thought they meant me and pushed her way through the crowd, laid her head on my arm and began to pat my hand. This continued for sometime. It was one of the most pure expressions of love I had ever received from a complete stranger.
A few days later, early one morning as I was praying, I thought of this incident. As I thought about Robin’s unashamed display of unconditional love, I paused in my prayer and asked the Lord, “ Father, did you make a special group of people just to show us what unconditional love looks like?” To which He gently replied, “Yes, son I did. They are called Christians!”