You Loved Me Anyway

Posted by on Sep 5, 2011 in Pastor's Blog, Recent News | 0 comments

We all stood there listening, one first timer, Alex the newbie (just in the number of times, her heart is so much more), April and I (still new to the love of our friends in the park), and Denie (who you think was used to this by now) and all in tears as he told us that he now counted his life as being saved yet another time.  We listened as he told us the state of his life and how the first time that he came to the table just a few short weeks ago, he was at the lowest point of his life.  The caring he received reminded him that he must still be worth something if we would so freely give to him.  It wasn’t just the food he explained it was the loving words, the looking into his eyes and seeing a man of worth, a child of God.

As he joined us in our tears he explained that he felt in his spirit that God was showing him that He still had a purpose for him.  Our friend told us how throughout that week he remembered our faces and the caring he saw pour out from our hearts.  He had a new-found hope.  God had sent him people to remind him that “He loved him anyway”.  Past all the mistakes and losses in his life, God still loved him.  As he embraced that into his heart he started to share that with others.  He began to tell them that God still loved him so he must love anyone.  One day in the park he had even stood between two friends getting ready to fight each other with knives and told them how much he loved them and wasn’t going to let them do this to one another.

All this would be enough but there was more.  Yet another man came through to tell us that just being there had saved his life and he prayed that we continued the work that is being done in the park.  Each time a story is shared I have watched Denie remind them we are here for them.  They are the reason we come, we are not the special ones, they are.  As I told our first friend, I explained that God is so proud of them that have gone through the challenges they have and still realize and have faith in God.  To stand in the depths of despair and come out seeking more of God take a courage that our Father knows and recognizes as special and enduring to his heart.

And yet there was more.  Another man Denie and I prayed over was on his way out of town.  He had new opportunity and renewed faith.  He told us it started right here in the park with the simple love that had been shown him.  He spoke to us about how he had loved God and how in the challenges he had given up when he lost an uncle who had mentored him.  He told us about the wrong turns that he had made and yet God kept showing up to call him back.  How the ministry of the park had taken away the religious spirit that told him he wasn’t worthy or loved.  He would leave knowing that he was stronger in his faith and ability to keep moving closer to God.  We spoke wisdom, strength, acceptance, God’s protection, and peace into his heart.  Denie reminded him that God loves through the ups and the downs, as I explained that all God asked for was to walk with him in his journey.  He stood straighter, as you could see the love of God shine on his face.   He hugged us both as he explained it was time for him to go.  Denie reminded him to remember the words spoken over his life this afternoon whenever he needed to remember how much God loved him.

 Matthew 22 [show]ERROR: The IP key is no longer supported. Please use your access key, the testing key 'TEST'
This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Oh how God loves us.  What we freely give is given back to us and so much more, my heart was so full from that day.  My morning sermon was all about how God still wants to walk with us each day.  He still wants that relationship that He had with us in the Garden.  He loves us anyway!  Through all our mistakes.  Through all our wrong turns.  He loves us.

I hope this story brings you hope.  I hope it inspires you to love and to be loved!

Be blessed and be a blessing to someone today!

Rick

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