Culture

August 07 2013
85

I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people. – Vincent Van Gogh

I.

Screen shot 2013-08-06 at 8.06.50 PMI remember the first time my mama dragged our little home-schooled hineys to the local nursing home. She thought it would benefit our character, humanity and the whole globe if we went and spent our love tanks on the old people and it really did sound like a good, Jesus-loving idea to me….until we got there. And I say “until” because upon opening the doors to that poorly kept place our senses were immediately offended by the most obnoxious wall of eye-watering odor. I couldn’t even take a full breath without feeling like I was eating ALL THE PEOPLE’S POOP AND PEE. Close second to the stink came my very first visual: a shuffling, hunched-back old-timer dropping his drawers in the middle of the corridor to piss and shit all over the floor. I mean! I had never even seen such a thing as anyone’s , bare–functioning–butt.

I wanted to turn my feet around SO bad and run frantic for the hills. My sensibilities were in shock. This wasn’t a pretty or happy or nice place. There were no flowers on the windowsills or rose colored glasses being passed out when you walked in. This was the real, gritty world and it was the first experience where I had really encountered it. A five-minute car ride from home and we were standing and sniffing in the margins of society. Being there suddenly felt like a portal into the boundaries of my own capacity for love and I knew I didn’t have enough of the stuff. These people were a lonely and forgotten person group, stuck in this location to watch the minutes tick down on their life-clock and I didn’t want to be there to pass time with them AT. ALL. My love was gasping and sputtering behind layers of nostril clawing stench and filth.

But, for 4 1/2 years my mom religiously brought us to that nursing home every Friday.

Sometimes we would gather in the group activity room to play cards or bingo. Sometimes we would set up a “beauty parlor” so the ladies could get their chin whiskers plucked and hair rollers set. Sometimes we would bathe our goats in the shower at home, tie bows around their necks and bring them in for a makeshift petting zoo. Sometimes we would ride our horses there so the elderly could reach out and savor the feel of Trinka or Roman’s velvet snout against their seasoned hands. Sometimes we would bring a chicken or two to buck and cluck around the hallways. Sometimes we would go from room to room visiting individuals and learning their exhaustive stories of love and war – some were bitter, some were effervescent; some yelled at us to “get out” and some couldn’t get enough of our company.

So many of the individuals burned an abiding brand inside my young heart; an imprint that still informs who I am today – from “Queen Ruby” with her stark-white, royally coiffed up-do….to 98-year-old Harold, one of the last remaining World War I veterans with his tales of tragedy and triumph….to mute Helen whose eyes would go wild and angry if you happened to say “God” in the course of conversation. (In lieu of God, we brought our kitty and he would settle on her lap with a purr and the most profound peace would fall over her face. It seemed that for Helen, God could only be found in the fur of a feline.)

For 4 1/2 years we told them by our efforts and energy that they were worthy.

For 4 1/2 years they taught us how to agape love.

II.

The homeless community in our city is the “nursing home” we drag our own kids to.

“MAMA, PAPA!!! THERE’S ROGER!!! I SEE ROGER!!! HE’S OVER THERE!!! HEY ROGER, ROGER!!!”

Our boys are ALWAYS excited to see him. To them he’s like finding Waldo or unwrapping Christmas. On this particular day, it was 98 degrees when we went downtown and bumped into Roger on our way to get ice cream. He was dressed from stem to stern in black and sweating down to his skeleton. He was particularly distressed so I made sure to give him an extra huge hug. It’s still everything I can do to wrap my arms around him as if he’s clean and doesn’t smell like 7 years of unwashed skin; it’s everything I can do not to hold my breath when I lean my nose in next to his weathered neck where the worst smell sits in the shadowed creases. But I won’t allow myself half-assed hugs when it comes to our homeless friends, not when that embrace may be the only tender touch they receive for the week or whole year.

So I squeeze him and step back, my formerly pristine palms are now wet with sweat and I’m looking into his eyes and asking about life. He’s got “new” shoes with holes in both toes to match the holes in his heart, the ones left gaping by the guilt he harbors from ALL THE MISTAKES he’s made, but especially that long ago decision to leave his little boy and girl in “care” of the state.

This is not the time to decide that Roger could’ve made different choices (then he wouldn’t be in this position!). No. Every time is the time for us to eke out all the ounces of grace that we have and pour them in a glass so he can drink a cup of cold water in the name of Jesus, so to speak. Every time is an intentional decision to imagine ourselves wearing his world because I believe it’s the only way we can truly and fully love him…. With just a little zip from the top of his head to bottom of his toes, we can simply slip inside his skin. By the way…it’s SO hot in here and we’re trying to stand up under the weight of his sad times; trying to breathe through the unbearable humidity of his internal climate, but there ain’t no air conditioner where a bit of hell is beating here between his rib bones so we dip down to shoulder-up his heart, putting our own aortas next to his just so he’s not burning alive all alone.

Right alongside me, my husband and the boys throw their arms around Roger because this is how we do and he becomes the center of our world for the next half hour. We buy ice cream and eat the odor of our companion beside every bite and it sure is hard sometimes to swallow it all down on the same spoon, but this is sustenance of body and soul and when Roger tells us what’s making him so sick these days….we’ve got his back covered with arms of love and take turns praying and holding like we were born to it. Because we were.
.
III.
.

King Solomon says that a wise man stores up an inheritance for his children’s children and I know that he’s referencing monetary wealth in that Proverbs 13 verse, but let me tell you this: the inheritance that my mama passed down to me to give to my children is worth far more to me then all the dollars in Bill Gates’ bank account. She gave us—and consequently her grandchildren—an inheritance of making love an art form; love that knows how to bend and give and stretch and spend even when a place smells like shit or a person drips with sweat.

 

[Photo SOURCE]

 

 

85 comments

  1. Rodger

    Nothing less attractive than a woman with a potty mouth.

    Reply
    • Morgan

      Oh, Rodger. You missed it all. All that beauty. You missed it.

      Reply
      • Erika

        Thank you, Morgan. <3

        Reply
    • johnny

      … other than a man who talks shit and pisses in the wind!

      Reply
    • hey rodger, this is not the first time you’ve left a comment along these lines, and i want to introduce you to something in media criticism called the “male gaze.” it’s present in most advertising, in film, video games, comic books, etc, and the idea is that (heterosexual) men are The Watchers and women are The Watched. point-of-view belongs to men, and women are merely objects existing to be affirmed (or rejected) by men.

      what’s so ironic is that erika’s whole piece is about assuming a gaze of love and grace–seeing all people as human beings bearing the image of God, inherently valuable and worthy of love. it’s a beautiful post. but you go out of your way not only to miss her point but to put her in her place–she is stepping out of line, betraying ideals of femininity that who, *you*, are the keeper of?

      no one here is writing for your affirmation, and there is beauty everywhere for those with eyes to see.

      Reply
      • Denice

        Amen.

        Reply
      • Well said, Suzannah. And Erika, thank you for the reminder of those nursing home days…and the beautiful writing.

        Love,
        Your Sis

        Reply
        • Erika

          We have some amazing memories, eh Mel-Belle? Glad to share them with you. :)

          Love,
          E-Lynn

          Reply
      • Erika

        I’d chest bump you so big right now iff’n I could.

        Reply
      • George

        AMEN and AMEN…Suzannah…Sad but most people get hung up and never see the TRUE beauty…

        Reply
      • Your comment in the first paragraph can go both ways, I’m sure you know, this is not a put down, but merely an observation of our sex crazed culture. The second paragraph is right on. Third paragraph hit it out of the park.

        Erika is my sister’s daughter, and her writing gets your attention in a good way.

        Reply
      • Ken

        Thanks Suzannah,

        You articulated something I find myself wrestling with (as a male steeped in this culture) constantly.

        Reply
      • shinyhappymommy

        A-freakin-men, Suzannah! Thank you.

        Reply
    • Denice

      Who ever said the point was to be “attractive?”

      Reply
      • Erika

        WORD! :)

        Reply
    • dan mcm

      Your comment is about as stinky as the old guy dropping a hot toader on the floor of the rest home.

      You can’t describe something gross and ugly without using language that conveys the picture that it was gross and ugly. “He poo poo’d and tinkled on the floor,exposing his wrinkled little old man tushy” doesn’t quite cut it in terms of describing how disgusting the situation was.

      Christianity that is afraid to get it’s hands dirty comes off looking more like the self-righteous white-washed walls known as the Pharisees. And to tell you the truth, I would find a woman who is willing to love the unlovable way more attractive than one that puts on airs of holiness yet doesn’t truly love… even if that means she comes with a “potty mouth”.

      Reply
      • ^ seriously LOLd ^ And yes, totally agree.

        Reply
      • Erika

        “He poo poo’d and tinkled on the floor….” Too funny, Dan! And, yeah. It doesn’t quite have the right ring to it. ;)

        Reply
    • Luke H.

      I don’t think this had anything to do with attracting you Rodger. So stop being so self-absorbed and look at the big picture.

      Reply
    • Josh

      unless it’s a man judging the superficial and missing the overall point….would it be better for you had it read, “When Love Smells Like Feces”??

      Reply
    • J Z

      It feels so down right sad, that such an ignorant and useless comment would follow such a insightful and beneficial post.

      Reply
  2. Just beautiful, thank you, this is reminding me how I want to parent our kids…

    Reply
    • Erika

      Jen – I am so humbled that you were here with my heart today. Thank you . . . <3

      Reply
  3. This is beautiful. Thank you for showing us what love looks like.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Thank you, Fiona, for seeing beauty in our story. <3 <3 <3

      Reply
  4. Melissa

    Oh Erika. Thank you. I, too, get it. I’ve spent last week in prisons bringing hope to the unlovely. But I’m desperately been trying to figure out how to help my children understand. Thank you for these words. All of them. :)

    Reply
    • Erika

      Melissa – when I saw your Instagram at the prison last week, I wanted to be there with you SO bad. We have kindred hearts and it does mine a world of good to follow you vicariously into the your trenches.

      Thank you for being with me today, M.

      Love,
      E

      Reply
    • Mel

      Hi, I just happened upon this article on facebook and was very blessed by it! Then I came across your comment and just wanted to ask do you have your own prison ministry? I was close to someone who was incarcerated for 15 years and it has given me a heart for prisoners and their families and for the last couple years I have felt that is an area of ministry that God wants to use me in but I’ve been somewhat at a loss for where to begin. Maybe it’s just something as simple as going and talking to the families who are waiting to visit a loved one or trying to start a pen pal program. Just felt led to ask!

      Reply
      • Erika

        Hi Mel! I’m not involved in prison ministry, but my friend Melissa Greene is! She’s one of the other storytellers here at Deeper Story – if you click on “storytellers” above, then find her name, you can contact her through her personal blog and maybe she can help you! :)

        Thank you for stopping by! :)

        Love,
        Erika

        Reply
  5. Thank you for this. I published a blog post this week using the word “shit” too because sometimes there’s just no other word. Every time I hit “publish” it’s a courageous act, but I’m emboldened by posts like this to continue writing about the gritty and messy because life isn’t always pretty. Thanks for keeping it real.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Lisa – you got it, girl. We live in a messy place, around messy people and you just can’t fuzzy that shit up! ;) Thank you for hearing my heart. :)

      Much Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  6. Erica Camacho

    I always get happy when I see your posts come up in my email inbox & this is just another reason why. <3

    Reply
    • Erika

      Thank you, sweet Erica. You always make my day smile. <3 <3 <3

      Xx,
      Me

      Reply
  7. Erika, these words touch something deep in me. Something that does not have many words right now, but only a lump in the throat and eyes sprung with tears. Like something I was born to.

    “Every time is an intentional and conscious decision to imagine ourselves wearing his world because I believe it’s the only way we can truly and fully love him.”

    Just thank you.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Kelli – I love that lump in your throat and those tears in your eyes. I love them like they’re my own. Thank you, dear friend. Thank you.

      Much Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  8. This is so beautiful. You, your mama, your husband and kids, so beautiful. Beautiful reflections of our stinking, sweating, bleeding beautiful Christ.

    Reply
    • Erika

      “…our stinking, sweating, bleeding beautiful Christ.” That’s all it takes for me to fall in love with him all over again. Thank you, my darlin’. I loveth you SO.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  9. erika, this is humbling. so much grace in your words and your parenting and your life. sometime i think of how the sins of the fathers are visited upon sons in terms of learned patterns and generational sin, and it’s just so heart-breakingly heavy, but i am moved here by your example of how blessings and grace fall down like that, too. what a legacy your mama gave.

    thanks for helping us to see roger, too.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Suzannah, thank you so much for your heart and wisdom here. And for getting my back.

      I love you, sister.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  10. JJ Kouloumoundras

    I read this article thinking, “Who the heck wrote this? Whoever this girl is, she gets it. She went beyond her comforts and tapped into the divine all while not taking herself too seriously( sadly,there aren’t to many of those christians around) with the cussing in the title and using the word ain’t for a laugh….ERIKA! You wrote this mug!……Oh to know you again! gurl, you sure are taking life by the balls in the name of Jesus. You shaved your head for your friend with cancer….Talk about leaving your own unique legacy. Thank you for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • Erika

      JJ!!!!!!!!!!! Girl. You be so funny! And you’re not going to believe this: TWO DAYS!!! TWO DAYS ago I was reminiscing about the time we spent together right after Jude was born and all the moments you helped and held me when I cried and struggled. I miss your mug to the moon!!! Come be with me soon, ok?!?!

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  11. Wow. I love the way you write, the way you see the world, but especially how you are living out Christ’s command to go the “least of these.” You are His hands and feet. It’s not easy. But I love that you do it anyway, and even more, that you are training your kids to really see people- their hearts and their stories, not just their appearance or their living circumstances. You and Austin are a blessing, and you’re giving your boys such a great heritage of practical love and pure faith. Thank you for your honesty, and for being an inspiration, Erika. Wish we could hang out. Much love to you guys!!

    Reply
    • Erika

      Michelle! I wish we could hang too!!! We have ALL THE THINGS to catch up on!!! I’m enjoying the updates and processes as your family prepares for France and MUCH look forward to the future stories as well!

      Thank you for blessing my heart with your kind, encouraging words…

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  12. Debbie Nance

    Erika Girl – thank you for this beautiful reminder that love is not always pretty or easy or even “attractive” and when we are doing what God calls us to do – we may have to get covered in the sweat, blood, and shit of every day life.

    There was no other word to use but Shit to describe what you smelled. It was perfect.

    Rodger – What word would you have used? Would it have conveyed the same all enveloping stink and revulsion that “shit” does?

    Thanks Suzannah for speaking for me.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Debbie – I am so grateful that you spent time here today, even more grateful that our story resonated with your heart. Bless you, friend.

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  13. dan mcm

    Challenging and humbling…. I wish I was as consistent in making myself live out agape love as you are, and I wish I was as consistent in teaching my kids to do the same.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Thank you, Dan. Being consistent takes SO MUCH ENERGY. I’ve had to eliminate other commitments just to keep this value alive. My mom told me just a few days ago that it took everything she had to keep taking us back to that nursing home every Friday (which made her all the more remarkable in my estimation), so you’re definitely not alone in facing the challenge! :)

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  14. Rea

    Thank you for this reminder. Right now I’m trying to figure out how to live out a different kind of agape love, love for some neighbor boys that have that ‘trouble’ label. Love for the 5 year old that chases the 4 year old neighbor girl with the box cutter and kills baby birds with scissors. I’m trying to figure out where the line between agape loving him and keeping my own kids safe is, and to be honest I STILL don’t know, but I needed the reminder that wherever that line falls I don’t get a say in whether he is WORTH agape love or not. Because he just is.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Oh, Rea . . . That little boy must be hurting so much and this much I know: you’re a part of his life because Jesus inside you is big enough for him too. Prayers for you, sister.

      Much Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  15. I learn so much from you, friend.

    Reply
    • Erika

      I am humbled so much, my friend.

      Reply
  16. ALL THE TEARS. Because 1) I just love you and your family. This is what my “someday” dreams are made of. and 2) this is my inheritance too.

    My Daddy put us in his car with homeless people, and drug addicts, and convicts and immigrants. And we didn’t know the difference, we just learned to love them as PEOPLE – because he did. And my Momma dragged us to the nursing homes where she worked – until we went willingly because those crazy old ladies stole our hearts. We learned to see Jesus and be Jesus. We learned to see with eyes of compassion and understanding instead of cynicism and entitlement.

    There is no greater treasure. I can’t wait to pass it on.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Oh, Rebekah! I could just kiss your Momma and Daddy! What gorgeous people! I should’ve known we shared a similar legacy…. :)

      Thank you, darlin’.

      Love,
      Me

      Reply
  17. Katie

    Just what I want for me, for my girls… To see, listen, touch, love the unseen, unheard, untouched, unloved.
    Thank you for sharing. And getting dirty in His name, for True Love’s sake.
    Beautiful.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Katie, thank YOU. Have fun adventuring and loving with your little girls! :)

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  18. Cadena

    Thank you for your candid words and open heart. I appreciate your sharing, so honestly, what you see and how you feel.

    I work with teens and, all to often, shy from this honesty because of the “we need to talk”, “you shouldn’t communicate in this way”, “these kids hear these words on the streets, they shouldn’t hear it in the walls of church” conversations I have to have afterwards. I want to say, “but the listen to what they hear on the streets, they don’t listen to what they hear while sitting in these pews surrounded by people who hide.And that is exactly what went through my head when I was living through that…”

    Bless you for blazing through those “we shouldn’t” walls and being honest!

    Reply
    • Erika

      Oh, Cadena . . . You’re welcome friend. Thank you for letting me know how this story resonated with you! <3

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  19. George

    These words….THOSE words….are just so powerful. Truly captivated my heart to another level. This is truly what church should be…triage–blood, sweat, tears, shit, piss, puss, decaying rotting flesh, the smells, sights, sounds all a part of “pruning” our Father MUST do to the vine in order for it to be productive. Prune my mind, heart and soul OH Father, make me SEE the real KINGDOM OF GOD. Erika, keep writing keep inspiring keep following your heart!! AWESOME story just AWESOME

    Reply
    • Erika

      Ahhh! George, your wild encouragement mean so much to my heart this morning . . . Thank you!!!!

      Much Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  20. Faye S

    Jesus calls us to ‘go into ALL the world and…’ Two things with that. You cannot do it without a passport or a strong stomach even and especially when it’s in our own backyard. Thanks for reminding me of what we daily need to consider.

    Reply
    • Erika

      “YOu can’t do it without a passport or a strong stomach . . . ” That is the TRUTH! Thank you, Faye, for being here with my heart. :)

      Much love to you,
      Erika

      Reply
  21. Heather Magee

    ”we cradle his back with arms of love and take turns praying and holding like we were born to it. Because we were.” that right there is true love where there are no walls or judgement. and openness to ppls hearts who are no different than any of us…in need of touch, love, acceptance and support. you guys are so inspiring!! thanks!

    Heather

    Reply
    • Erika

      Thank you, Heather, SO much. <3 <3 <3

      Love
      Erika

      Reply
  22. The tears started around the third paragraph, and didn’t stop. First, I am a CNA in a skilled nursing facility. It’s nice, not dark, dank, or ugly, but there are still the elderly with their stories and incontinence and anger and dementia and love. It’s the job I love to hate and hate to love. And while I work there part time, we take our kids downtown 2-3 times a month and serve with a homeless ministry, giving out as much love and attention as we do food and clothing and it’s touched us–deep– in ways we never dreamed. Our sons get excited to go, know many of they guys’ names, and I’ve watched them change just in the knowing and serving like this. I love your heart.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Dawn – it means the world to me to hear these little snippets of how our hearts and lives intersect similarly. I’m sure we could sit down and swap stories till kingdom come!

      Keep doing what you’re doing, mama!!! :)

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  23. Laurie

    I’m weeping at not only how beautiful your stories are but all the comments and replies as well. I like to pay really close attention whenever I see something more than once and the Van Gogh quote you post right at the top I saw only yesterday hanging in a little book shop. I am literally falling in LOVE with you guys at Deeper Story. Please keep up the honesty, transparency, and REAL-ness!

    Reply
    • Erika

      You got it, Laurie! Thank you for your tears and sharing time with us. :)

      Mucho Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  24. Some people can’t get their ears or hands dirty. Their fear of dirt (or sin) keeps them from being ‘contaminated’, but in the long run they’ll still end up with ‘blood on their hands’. Jesus covers it all so they need to stop worrying about getting too close to the ragged beat up man in the street and start being the Good Samaritan.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Yes, it’s quite a learning process – this figuring out how to get dirty – isn’t it? Thank you for being here, sister Lisa. :)

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  25. Denise

    Thank you, Erika. You’re fillin in a blank.
    For that reason and more, I wanna share this poem I found today – it immediately took me back to your article.

    “All
    of what
    I would want my child to know
    my poems attempt.

    We are infants before each other,
    are we not,
    so vulnerable to each other’s words and movements.

    A school I sat in cured me of hurting others.

    I have come to see that all are seated at his table,
    And I have become his servant.

    Sometimes God is too shy to speak in public
    And he pinches me.

    That is my cue –
    To fill in the blanks of your understanding

    The best I can.”

    – Rabia of Basra

    Reply
    • Erika

      Oh, Denise . . . Thank you for sharing that. I’m tucking that truth-poem next to my heart.

      Love to you,
      Erika

      Reply
  26. Mireille

    Hey lovely lady,
    Your invitation to read your blog by using your first comment on your bad language made me very curious :) So I read your beautifully written piece (as always). I LOVE it, it has a lot of truth in it. I even love the title. I’m Dutch, we use the sh*t word all the time :) (I guess it is less bad in a second language.. you never really comprehend the true meaning of it. Something like that). But in favor of the “bad guy”. Being a nurse I would never use the words piss and shit in relation to a patient/person. Just because in doing not so, I show the respect they still deserve although they don’t act like humans anymore because of old age and dementia for example. So yes, ‘tinkling on the floor’ might not do it either, but just peeing and pooing would have painted the picture vivid enough. (for me). But maybe shit and piss described better what you were thinking as a kid? I don’t know. Anyway, it didn’t spoil the story for me at all, there was just a little sting in my heart at that sentence with a small why.
    Just to be honest.. because you asked. And you know I’m a BIG fan of you and your beautiful way of living in and looking at this world and then sharing it with us.

    And to all who responded to Roger; I do understand, really. But the thought that is hunting me is that (although not homeless) he might need the same “I-see-beyond-your-words-and-appearence-love-hug” what this article is writing about..

    (not that I’m a specialist..).

    Anyway; hugs from Holland

    Reply
    • Erika

      Oh, goodness . . . Mireille, thank you for your eyes and your heart. I truly value your point of view and insight as a nurse to our aging neighbors. The only thing I can say is that it wasn’t my intention AT ALL to speak un-dignifying words towards my old friend. My heart was to define my first encounter as a child with the messy world – “piss and shit” was about the act, not the person.

      Thank you for the loving way you communicate your thoughts, Darlin’.

      Love you,
      Erika

      Reply
  27. Drewbaca

    I love the boldness of your post. Christians need to stop tender footing around, make the hard choice and love hard. Love is never easy and often messy. It is a moment by moment choice, not this foof and puff of secular infatuations. Thanks for have the brass ovaries to write and love like you do.

    Reply
    • Erika

      Drewbaca – thank you for that “brass ovaries” bit….it put a smile on my face! :)

      Love,
      Erika

      Reply
  28. There are no adequate words. Praying to constantly put my senses to rest, to not be bound by them and the impressions of them that would hold me back from loving.
    So loved this. Just beautiful.
    Love to you,
    Steph

    Reply
    • Erika

      Hi, YOU!!! I was just thinking about your sweet self the other day when a tiny piece of paper with your mailing address on it fell out of my wallet – I keep it there because SOMEday I’m going to write you a REAL, old-fashioned letter! :)

      Thank you for “seeing” me today, my friend.

      I love you,
      Erika

      Reply
  29. Paula Gamble

    Thank you for this. Very inspiring to go love on people and see beyond their current state, and see the beauty in their stories. To be present with them in their pain, their regrets, their joy, their triumphs. And to give grace & love freely, the only way we all can truly receive.

    Reply
  30. Beautiful!!! It’s the core message of Jesus – the love in sacrifice, and in stepping into someone’s vantage point. …all things my 5-year-old is teaching me and that just keeping rocking worlds and ruffling feathers! Rock on!

    Reply
  31. Oh, I love this. I’m battling cancer, and my kids have been exposed to much hard. I pray, I pray, I pray it grows them in the hard places of love. The hard places Jesus enters with grace. Beautiful writing.

    Reply
  32. Terra

    Thank you for reminding me that I am “not all that”. For reminding me that when you do this for the “least of these, you do it unto me”. Your writing inspires me to be a beacon of Jesus. Thank you for stirring up memories of my own childhood trips to the local nursing home. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in myself, I need to be reminded what real love does for the ones that need it most. God is using you to inspire me. Stirring up something good, I just know it!

    Reply
  33. abranda

    You guys are reminding me of that book daring greatly. If you have ever been in a nursing home, you can easily and quickly accept the words chosen… mmhuh. Definitely. And this is coming from a person who is not for cussing.

    Reply

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