Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Colorblind Love

God's Love is absolutely Colorblind. I thank God for placing me where He did during the early years of ministry. I learned that all of us face the same problems and issues. Moving to Benton Harbor Michigan was God's way of preparing my heart for our life in Zambia. While we lived in Benton Harbor Hilary's best friend was a wonderful girl named Olivia.

Olivia and Hilary hit it off because of their attitude towards each other. Neither girl cared about the skin color of the other. They became inseparable, spending overnights together and going to camp as best buds. The relationship of those seven year olds confirmed the work that God had been doing in my heart for some time.

After living in Benton Harbor for two short years we headed to Zambia. Donna and I knew that we were going to the right place at the right time. For ten years we waited, at times patiently, usually impatiently, to be appointed to the mission field. We arrived in Zambia and in no time at all fell in love with the joyous and friendly Tonga people.

Innocent children are great teachers. Hilary and Baby Irene taught me one of the most profound lessons in my adult life. Shortly after arriving at our home Donna and Hilary got busy working with the orphan children and those dying of AIDS. Donna asked me if it would be ok for us to take care of Baby Irene over a weekend. Baby Irene was dying of AIDS and Donna wanted to spend some, touching time, with her. I agreed, and Baby Irene entered my life.

Irene was six months old and she weighed about 15 pounds. The first time I looked at her I was actually stunned. She looked old and tired. Her fingers were long and skeletal, her face looked aged and weary. She spent the weekend and on Sunday Hilary decided to do something very special. She had brought her favorite doll with her to Zambia. The doll had a very pretty green dress, trimmed in white lace. Hilary, with Donna's wholehearted blessings, dressed Irene in the baby doll dress.

The weekend passed and Irene went back to the hospital. Tuesday morning I watched Donna walking up the road towards me. Tears were running down her cheeks as she told me that Baby Irene had just died and her struggles were over. When Donna told Hilary there were more tears.

 Donna was asked to say a few words at her funeral. So, prior to the funeral Hilary asked the family if Baby Irene could be buried in the green baby dress. Baby Irene was laid to rest in the red dirt of the Chitumbi Village, wearing a pretty green dress trimmed in white lace. The family members asked Donna why she cared so much for Irene. Donna explained that it was because God cared for her and He wanted us to love each other in the was He loved us.

The impact of that event had a very profound effect upon my heart. Love must be shared when the opportunity is presented by God.

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