I recently watched a trailer for an upcoming documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” which explores the life of Mr Rogers and his television show “Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood”. Fred Rogers states, “Love is at the root of everything…all learning, all relationships, love or the lack of it.”
There is great truth in this statement. As Christians, we know our primary task is to love. Jesus Christ made that very clear in Matthew 22:37-40 when he said that the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and then followed it up with a second commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I’ve seen this love displayed in the lives of our POI staff. Love is what connects us deeply to others. Over and over I heard stories of how the staff love our children well. It is their love that binds hearts, gives a sense of belonging, inspires great acts of sacrifice and courage, and cultivates emotional healing. Their love is demonstrated by acts of compassion, care, and comfort, and it holds the secret to extending the influence and reality of God to the communities where they serve.
One story stands out in my mind…
Let me introduce you to Sandy, a nine year old student that attends our center in Crucitas. Sandy and I became friends quickly as she braided and played with my hair one afternoon. This particular morning, Sandy had been taken by our staff to get her hair cut. Her mother refused to wash her hair because she had head lice and thought it was disgusting. Her case is so severe she has areas on her scalp that are infected. I watched as our staff gently washed her scalp. This precious one grimaced and cried out occasionally in pain. Another teacher gently rubbed her back to calm her as the other continued to wash and massage her scalp.
Much to our surprise, Sandy fell asleep while standing over the pila. But, the story doesn’t end here. Our teachers went to her home that afternoon and washed all their bedding, towels and clothes. Yes, I cried as I watched this scene unfold. I cried for the pain this precious one was experiencing. I cried because she didn’t want to go to school that afternoon in fear of being bullied. Instead, she chose to stay where it was a “safe place”. She stayed where she knew she would be accepted, valued and loved…the POI Center. I cried because our staff love well.
I Peter 4:8 tells us, “Love each other deeply (love well), because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
“The essence of God is to love and be loved. He is the One who crafted love and made us with a deep hunger and need to be cherished.” -Sally Clarkson
I’ve pondered on these thoughts for the last few days…
“Measure your life by how well you have loved. In the moment that you love well, you are the most like Jesus.” -Sally Clarkson
“Loving well is the best and most profound act of life.” -Sally Clarkson
What can we learn from Mister Rogers?
“The greatest thing we can do is to help somebody know they are loved and capable of loving.” -Fred Rogers
Contributed by: Ruth Hamilton, Co-founder of Point of Impact Global