Two days ago, I was standing in the middle of our street, greeting a neighbor: “Howdy Mr. Joseph!”
“Hello Dr. Bruce!”
We hugged one another. He shared some good news about his daughter and his nephew.
So what’s the big deal.
Joseph is a Syrian. I am an American.
We are brothers in Christ.
“Let us love, not with word or tongue, but with action and in truth.” 1 Jn 3:18
We met two years ago when Mr. Joseph brought his nephew, a Syrian physician and refugee, to my door. They had just moved into the neighborhood and seemed surprised when I instantly invited them into my home. Joseph’s nephew needed some help getting introduced into the residency training world, so that he could become a US licensed physician. I still don’t know how they found out that I was a physician and a program director.
I listened to their dramatic and frequently hair-raising life stories. I prayed with them, after asking permission to do so, and telling them that I pray in Jesus’ name, which opened a whole new door into their spiritual lives. Such a sweet and powerful time.
I wrote some letters, the nephew got into a residency, and my relationship with Joseph blossomed. He brought Syrian food and Syrian desserts, and I checked up on his nephew now and again.
“Let us love…”
Jesus defined love: “This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.” 1 Jn 3:16
Love is not about simpering, sloppy, silly feelings. It is about self-sacrifice. It is about decreasing, that another might increase.
“Let us love…”