Our local florist tells me that Valentines Day is their busiest day of the year, as people willingly pay over-inflated prices for flowers in order to express their love.
However, God calls us to express our love to others each and every day, not just on February 14th, and not just by sending flowers. In I John 4:11, 12 we read… “since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.”
Trinity Church strives to extend God’s love as we live out our Mission Statement throughout all the ministries of the church and as we live in community with one another. (Our Mission Statement: We are a community of Christ-followers, longing to glorify God by loving God, loving people, sharing the gospel and serving the world).
One of the ministries that so beautifully glorifies God at Trinity Church is the FiftyPlus Ministry. One way Paul & Marcia Plaxton faithfully show love to our seniors is by bringing monthly visitation teams to our shut-ins. Marcia prepares treats for those who will be visited and they offer suggestions for ways to encourage our dear members who are in a challenging season of life. As a new member of this visitation team I am blessed to have the privilege of witnessing how victoriously some of our church family face adversity.
A recent visit with Jean Watson proved to be no exception and was a powerful teachable moment for me. As we arrived at the facility where Jean lives we were told she was probably reading her Bible in her room. We were greeted with a huge beautiful smile, which expressed her delight with our presence. Jean keeps her New Testament on top of her walker and several times during the visit she opened the seat to show us where she keeps her “big” Bible. The focus of Jean’s conversation was the two loves of her life: The Lord and her family. Anyone could quickly see from the books on her shelves and her conversation where her joy and strength comes from her relationship with The Lord. Her Bible and devotional books, such as Streams In The Desert, have prepared her to handle this winter season of life.
As we spoke, I was touched to see the Christmas card from Mike & Paula Lawrence in a prominent place on Jean’s shelf, right along with family photos. While there are many things that Jean can no longer do, she proudly let us know that she can still pray. What a powerful witness she gave that no matter what infirmities we face, we can still pray, not just for ourselves, but for others. Mike & Paula need our prayers as Mike undergoes cancer treatment. Knowing that our church family, even those with challenges of their own are lifting them up to the Father has to be such a blessing to the Lawrence family. Jean joined her visitors as we sang “I Surrender All.” As we sang I looked over at the Lawrence family photo, knowing this dear family is daily surrendering their all to Jesus, the Savior they love and trust. It was a tender moment for me.
Jean must have planted I John 4:11 in her heart many years ago, for she is a precious example of loving others. She loves others in our church family by doing the only and most important thing she can do, praying. God lives in her and his love is made complete in her. In her gift of prayer she expressed agape love, the highest form of love. God is never finished using us for His glory when we long to glorify Him. He allowed me to witness that through Jean’s life that lovely FiftyPlus visitation day.
The life of this dear one from our Trinity Church family can encourage us to ask the question today – how can we show God’s love, not just during the month of February, but throughout the year?
When we, as Christ-followers, love God and love others, our Mission Statement is being accomplished. Thank you dear Jean, for living out Trinity Church’s Mission Statement in your precious life, and for painting a priceless picture of agape love. God has been glorified.
By Linda Arnett