A Child Cared

Monday, August 11

8-11By Earl Burns of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us…for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

—1 John 4:18–21 NRSV

Many years ago, before the US Civil Rights movement, our family attended a reunion (family camp). Early in the week, my youngest daughter’s preschool teacher talked about this scripture and how God “first loved us.” Our daughter, Lisa, asked, “You mean he first loved us, the white people, and then loved the black and other people?”

The teacher quickly responded, “No. God loves all people equally.” My daughter then asked, “Then why aren’t there any black people here at this reunion?” She asked a valid question!

The next day to everyone’s surprise, Brother Blue, an African-American, and his family showed up for the day. During the early morning prayer service, I shared my daughter’s concerns from the day before. Brother Blue said he had not planned to say anything that morning, but because of what I said, he felt he must. He shared a moving testimony.

After the service, he told us he wanted to meet Lisa. My wife held Lisa in her arms and told her to watch the door for a surprise. When Brother Blue walked into the room, Lisa’s eyes shined with joy. He walked up to her and said he wanted to meet the little girl who cared if he was here or not. They talked for a while before he left.

I thank God that conditions have changed. I embrace the Enduring Principles of Unity in Diversity and Worth of All Persons. May our communities continue to reflect God’s diversity. We still have a long way to go. But with observant and loving people like Lisa—and with God’s love as our guide—I have faith in a diverse community of peace.

Prayer for Peace Loving God, we thank you for giving us such a great reason to love our brothers and sisters. Thank you for loving us—all of us—first.

Spiritual Practice: Welcoming Unity in Diversity Meditate on Unity in Diversity. Create a large circle with your arms. See and feel the diverse people God invites inside the sanctuary of Christ’s peace represented by this circle.

Who is easiest to welcome? Whom do you struggle to include? Confess the dividing walls between you and people too different or “dangerous” to invite into your spiritual home. Ask God to forgive and heal barriers that keep us from loving one another.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will invite the person excluded.

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6 Comments

  1. Colleen Leonard

     /  11 August 2014

    Earl, thanks for sharing this wonderful testimony! Blessings on you and family. May we all ask questions as pertinent as Lisa’s.

  2. Pat Danielson

     /  11 August 2014

    I, too, remember the Blue family and especially Brother Blue. Thanks for such a touching testimony.

  3. David Brock

     /  11 August 2014

    Thank you, Earl. God’s message through a child. And SO many prophetic acts and words through Brother Blue. Stories to gather and share from generation to generation! I’m grateful this one was saved and passed on to others.

  4. Marlene Krueger

     /  11 August 2014

    What a beautiful testimony. I am so glad you shared it.

  5. Vera Entwistle

     /  11 August 2014

    What a wonderful story! Children are born so open and loving. Thanks for sharing.

  6. I met Brother Blue several times, what a good and faithful servant for our heavenly father.

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