By Pastor Frank Wiederrecht
When I was a child there was a pop song that went, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No not just for some but for everyone.”
Some 50 years later, my observation of what I see in people, and the world in general, continues to validate the sentiments of that song. I may not know much, but this I know – that EVERYONE needs love!
Love is a fundamental need of each and every human being and animal from the time it is born.
I remember reading about “horse whisperers” and how they take the meanest, orneriest animals and hold their heads and nuzzle with that horse – taking it back to the time when they were foals – maybe that being the last time they ever felt loved. And that tender love connection changes everything!
When I see an angry, snarling human being, I think to myself … there is someone who needs love. When I see someone who is depressed or lonely, I think to myself ... there is someone who needs love. When I see someone struggling with grief or loss, I think to myself ... there is someone who needs love. Actually, when I see anyone and everyone, I think to myself ... there is someone who needs love!
I can tell you what people don’t need. They don’t need a lecture, or condemnation. They don’t need to be ostracized or criticized or psychoanalyzed or drugged. They don't need to be told that they are sinners. They already get that. They need to know that there is hope for them. They need practical expressions of love.
So … okay. Yes, but how?
Value them as a human being. Value them as a creation of the Lord God Almighty. Value them as someone for whom Christ died. Value them because they are a member of your family, your tribe, your race … the human race… and treat them humanely!
Listen to their story. Everyone has a story. Someone has wisely said, “Be kinder than necessary because everyone is carrying some burden, or fighting some battle that you know nothing about.”
David W. Augsburger has written, “Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”
What I have found is that when I listen to people’s stories, I find out that they have reasons for being who they are, and all my judgements fall to the floor and I can’t help but love them as they are.
Isn’t that what Jesus did? Loved the harlot, the tax collector, the ostracized and marginalized … right where they were? Isn’t that what God has done with you and me? He knows our story. He knows everything about us, and chooses to love us anyway.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
What you will find at The Gathering is a School of love filled with students like you and me who want to learn to love God and love others as God loves them. We’d LOVE to have you join us!