” Love is patient, love is kind…. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13: 4, 7-8 NIV)
The homeless person had just entered the hostel from the cold. I saw the female carer who welcomed him, and I saw him. She – a modern dress ’normal’ employee – a caretaker. He – life weary and reeking of an offensive odor. Social services had just rejected his plea for economic support; presumably on the grounds that he drank. Now he was like a confused child – an old, weary and worn out child that screamed and damned the social services.
I wondered how the interview would unfold. In wonder I witnessed the carer’s ability to allow her heart to steer her actions - she saw beyond his angry damnation. She saw the bewildered child, and sensitively, with empathy, embraced the man’s outpouring of emotion and calmed the child within him. The tears stilled and he strolled calmly to his assigned room.
We can be trained in the latest methodologies to serve people, whether it be the average man in the street or the social outcasts, however, one can never be educated in possessing love. That must come from a willing heart. One can learn various methods in meeting with people, however, technical methods can never provide trust to a wounded and bewildered heart. That can only be achieved by a love that is patient and kind. (1 Cor. 13: 4)
Jesus, help me today to watch over my heart in order that I let love in and that compassion for others be foremost in all that I do.