The love that God bestows upon us as His children is our example on how we
are to love and care for others. We are to share His Perfect love with all
whom we come into contact with letting them know that we are an extension
of God's love here on the earth. The Bible declares in 1 John 4:17-18
"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of
judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in
love; but perfect love casteth out fearů" Be encouraged to allow your
light to shine before all people that they may see your good works and
Glorify your Father in heaven. Jesus tells us to let our light shine
before all men that they may know in whom we believe. Take comfort and
know that your witness of Love speaks volumes of the God who dwells within
your heart. (John 13:12-17) (1 John 4:7-13) (Matthew 5:16) (2 Timothy 1:8-14)
I hope you are encouraged by today's message to take special interest in
others because your impact is sure to never be forgotten.
MY LITTLE BROTHER
Growing up with a brother who was 7 years older was difficult. Scott was
my idol and it hurt a lot not to be able to go the places he did or hang
out with his friends. I was always the dorky younger brother who tried so
hard to just fit in. All I ever wanted was for him to be proud of me. So,
when Scott announced that he was going to work the summer teaching mentally
challenged kids and asked if I'd like to volunteer, I jumped at the chance
to spend the time with him. I was 14 and the only volunteer at the program.
Everyone else was 21 and above, either earning college credits in Special
Education like my brother, or trying to make a few bucks for the summer.
We had approximately 30 students, ranging in age from 8 to 21, with the
majority being my age. I had never had much exposure to the world of the
mentally challenged and was a bit taken aback on my first day. Wheelchair
after wheelchair rolled off the bus, each with its own special passenger,
smiles brighter than the sun in summer. Parents dropping off their bundles
of joy, each one filled with the same excitement I felt my first day of school.
And then there was Mikey.
Mikey was 9 years old, tall, thin, and severely emotionally disturbed. He
stood alone in the corner, weaving back and forth, afraid. It was as if he
was invisible to all the other students and counselors. I walked over to
him, reached out my hand and he began to scream. I remember the look of
embarrassment in my brother's eyes. I wanted to crawl under a rock and
just quit. I backed away and tended to the other students.
Every morning Mikey would get dropped off by his mother, and every morning
he would go to the same corner where he spent most of his day alone. Even
other students would avoid him, not wanting to listen to the screaming or
tantrums he would throw.
Each afternoon the counselors would have their student's pair off and do
different activities. And each afternoon Mikey would remain in the corner,
watching. Feeling more comfortable, I approached the director and asked
her about Mikey. She explained that he has been coming to the program for
the past couple years and this was how he spent his days and no one had
the time needed to spend with him. I asked her if I could be assigned to
him. She didn't respond at first and I could see the whole, "You are only
14 years old! What can you do?" look in her eyes.
"Sure, go ahead. What could it hurt?" she finally replied.
So each morning Mikey would come in and I would be waiting for him. He
would walk over to his corner and I would tag right along, standing or
sitting next to him for hours, not saying a word. He would scream and
everyone would look, but I would just stare straight back at them,
determined not to quit. This went on for two weeks. I knew all the
counselors were talking about me to my brother. This was not what I had
envisioned my summer to turn into. It was suppose to strengthen the bond
between my brother and I, not make it weaker.
Then something happened that changed my life forever. I overslept one
morning and my brother had already taken off to work. I jumped on my bike
and rushed to the school, embarrassed for over sleeping and worried I would
be in trouble. I walked into the classroom and the room went silent. "Oh
no," I thought.
That's when I heard it. Someone was clapping their hands. I shrugged it
off as a student just expressing their excitement. Then someone else began
clapping. Another student, I thought. No, it was one of the counselors.
What was going on? Then it erupted. Everyone was clapping. Were they all
being sarcastic that I was late?
It was at that moment that I locked eyes with my brother. He was clapping
the loudest out of everyone and smiling at me. I just stood there puzzled
until the Director of the program approached me and explained that it had
to do with Mikey. Apparently when Mikey arrived that morning and couldn't
find me he went around from table to table, counselor to counselor, asking,
"Where's Paul? Where's Paul?"
The Director informed me that those were the first words Mikey had spoken
in the past couple years. I didn't know what to say.
I could feel my eyes beginning to fill with tears. I looked over to Mikey
in his corner and he was smiling, pointing to me and saying, "Paul! Paul! Paul!"
I felt a hand on my shoulder. It was Scott. "This is my little brother," he
kept reminding everyone with pride in his voice. It was then I began to cry.
The next year I was hired to be a counselor. I was only 15 and had to get
a worker's permit. I was in charge of my own group of students and had a
college girl as my assistant.
As for Mikey, his family moved out West and I was saddened by the fact that
I would never see him again. I hoped that he was all right and thought of
him that whole summer.
The last day of the program I received a postcard from California. In
barely legible handwriting were the words "Hi Paul." It was from Mikey. I
knew he was going to be okay.
Read and meditate on these scriptures:
John 15:11-13 Jesus says "These things have I spoken unto you, that My Joy
might remain in you, and that your Joy might be full. This is My
commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love
hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
1 John 4:7-8 "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and
every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not
knoweth not God; for God is love."
Psalm 37:23-27 "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and He
delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down:
for the LORD upholdeth him with His hand. I have been young, and now am
old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging
bread. He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Depart
from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore."
All of these scriptures can be found in the King James Version Bible.
Today's Selected Poem: DON'T SAY YOU'RE NOT IMPORTANT
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/enpoem85.htm
Today's Selected Testimony: JESUS SAVES ALCOHOLIC UNCLE
Click here to read --- http://www.Godswork.org/testimony58.htm
In Christ's Service,
Gods Work Ministry