April 19th, 2011


Love does not parade itself

As we were studying the Bible with a new friend at Union Station yesterday, a gentleman approached us and spoke to us. The conversation went something like this:

"That is a good book, there," he said as he came up and leaned over our Bibles.
"Yes, it is," I replied. "It's the Bible."
"Yes, I know."
"Is there anything that you would like us to read?" I asked.
"No, ma'am. You should study that book. You shouldn't just read that book, but you should study it. You know Jonah?"
"Yes, I know Jonah." Literally! I thought to myself, suddenly eager to leap into a recital of it from beginning to end from memory. But I didn't want to be pompous or rude, so I asked, "Would you like to hear it?"
"No, ma'am. You should study it," he said, pointing out his Mason belt and ring. He then changed the topic of conversation and asked if we had any money.
"I'm sorry, I didn't bring any money with me," I replied honestly. The only thing I had carried along was my Bible. I looked over at my friends, and they seemed to be in agreement. With that, the man thanked us, shook our hands, turned and left.

I was glad that I restrained myself. Instead of launching into a prideful knowledge competition, I was able to use the time for better things. My friend from church and I had a delightful time of fellowship with another Christian whom we met at Union Station. English was not his native language, but we were still able to communicate and I'm very thankful that he was willing to speak with us in English. He had some questions about American churches and together we discussed the message of the Bible. We read passages from Genesis, Psalms, Isaiah, Luke, John, Hebrews, 1 Peter, and Revelation. My friend and I talked about our broken relationship with God and how Jesus became the Mediator between men and God. It was wonderful to read and think about Scripture together. We actually found this gentleman deep in the book of Revelation when we greeted him! Before we parted, we prayed together. It was a sweet time of fellowship for me and I hope it was as encouraging to both my friends - old and new.

1 Corinthians 13:2-4 says, "And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing...Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up..."