LIFE LESSONS: Love In Motion
by Cheryl Simpson
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?
Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.
I will show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it.
Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.
Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
~Matthew 11:28 MSG
I was reminded of these beautiful words from our Lord on our recent Woven ministry trip to NYC.
Seeing the Statue of Liberty reminded me of the inscription “Give me your tired, your poor. Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” What really grips my heart is to think of what lies at the feet of the statue…broken chains!
I was also quite intrigued by seeing St. Paul’s Chapel near Ground Zero. When everything around it was destroyed, it remained a firm foundation. If its chambers could cry out, we would hear “Give me your tired and poor.” Like Lady Liberty, it became a place of rest for rescue workers during the aftermath of the great tragedy.
The Lamb’s Church is another haven for those who have been tossed about in life. An early morning Chinese service serves the likes of a young woman seeking refuge. The Hispanic service served many who came hungry to hear the words from Jesus, “Come to me.” After an invitation from the pastor, the altar was lined.
At the Rivington House, a hospice for those with AIDS, we met men and women whose chains have been broken. Although many suffer greatly from their past, they stand in victory and with outstretched arms sing "My Redeemer Lives". God's lovelight shines through their eyes.
My heart pays tribute to those who serve from a heart of love…
- Jen King, who greeted us with goody bags at 7:00 am in Newark before we left for NYC. She had never even met several of our ladies prior to that morning.
- Dustee Hullinger who serves so sacrificially the people at the Lambs Church of the Nazarene and the Rivington House and many diverse population groups throughout the city of Manhatten.
|Eat at Rosario's Pizza, NYC|
- Salvatore Bartolomeo, the neighborhood pizza man who invited us, as total strangers, with open arms into his shop. He demonstrated servanthood and hospitality to the extent of lovingly preparing a dish of gluten free pasta for one of our ladies that is on a restricted diet. Then, he treated our table with freshly made cannoli!
- And an unnamed young man who showed us “the way” late one night at the bus station.
What did I see amongst the multitudes of people on the busy streets of NYC?
I saw love all around us! We were surrounded by love!
Thank you for allowing me to experience this trip to witness love in motion. Thank you for the people you put into my life that encouraged me along the way: to listen to your voice, to be obedient to your call, and to love. You are an amazing God! Help me to be like the young man who went out of his way to show others The Way!In Jesus Name, Amen.
As you listen to this song,
I felt led to offer these words of Jesus for you to reflect upon today:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14:6 NIV1984
Praying for you with love, ~Cindy
Cheryl is the grateful wife of 36 years to Ken. They have two children and five granddaughters. Previously a public school teacher, she now spends much of her week doing pastoral care for her church, Newark Church of the Nazarene.
What a beautiful spirit! I praise God for this woman and for the privilege of sharing this NYC experience with her...our hearts are knit together more than ever! LOVE! ~Cindy