No Greater Love…

Neighborhood Ministries > No Greater Love…

No one has greater love than this

—that one lays down his life for his friends. John 15:13

There is no better time than Easter to reflect on love. Better than Valentine’s Day, better than anniversaries or weddings or baby showers. There is nothing that gives us hope or meaning or rescue like the love of Jesus.

I study certain saints who gave their lives to suffering people in the name of Jesus. Their influence has been integrated into my spirituality and life’s work. They keep me in the game, so to speak. Central to their lives of sacrifice was the sacrificial love of Jesus. It was personal. It was out of this love they developed the capacity to carry the pain of others.

Here are two of these mentors:

Everyone knows about Mother Teresa. Her love for the most wretched people on earth revealed to the world what it looks like to love humanity with the love of God. How did she do it? She believed Jesus loved her. She could hear her Lord say to her,

“No matter how far you may wander, no matter how often you forget me, no matter how many

crosses you may bear in this life, there is one thing I want you to remember always, one thing that

will never change. I love you – just as you are. You don’t need to change to believe in my love,

for it will be your belief in my love that will change you. You forget me, and yet I am seeking you

every moment of the day – standing at the door of your heart and knocking.” 1

Some have heard about Simone Weil, one of the most brilliant minds from the turn of the last century. For some unusual reasons, known only to God, she was consumed with identifying with the sufferings of the most oppressed; even before she herself believed in God. As a secular Jew in France, the only religion she found that seemed acquainted with grief and sorrow was Christianity. She paid attention. Her encounters with Jesus are frankly unexplainable, yet completely believable at the same time. This poem from the renown 16th century poet was one of those encounters that transformed her:

Love bade me welcome. Yet my soul drew back

Guilty of dust and sin.

But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack

From my first entrance in,

Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,

If I lacked anything.

A guest, I answered, worthy to be here:

Love said, You shall be he.

I the unkind, ungrateful? Ah, my dear,

I cannot look on thee.

Love took my hand, and smiling did reply,

Who made the eyes but I?

Truth Lord, but I have marred them: let my shame

Go where it doth deserve.

And know you not, says Love, who bore the blame?

My dear, then I will serve.

You must sit down, says Love, and taste my meat:

So I did sit and eat.

A few Easters ago, a girl who grew up at Neighborhood, now a woman, remembered my invitation to come to services Easter morning. “There will be baptisms,” I said. Like Mother Teresa’s reflection, this young woman knew God had not forgotten her, though she had wandered. Yes, her crosses had been many, but she believed she was loved just as she was. And like Simone Weil, she knew she was guilty of dust and sin and could hear Jesus ask, “if she lacked anything?”

Then in the most unconscious grace-filled acceptance, she came, in baggy gym shorts and an oversized t-shirt. I asked her if she minded getting wet in her clothes. “Nope,” she responded. With all matter of suddenness, love took her hand, and smiling replied to the deepest part of her, don’t forget, “I bore the blame,” and she went under the water. The sky broke open with applause.

Easter is a time when we can know love like we have longed for and searched for. It’s also a time when we remember the love we have for the least among us, the love we have for each other, and the shared purpose in this love which is from God.

Loved one, we couldn’t do this work without you. Would you prayerfully consider giving an Easter gift, regardless of size, so that we have more testimonies to share?

We tell others about your faithful support. We testify to your role in seeing this community experience the hands and feet of Jesus through your gifts.

Thank you for letting your hearts be stretched to include all of us.

Happy Easter!

Kit Danley, Founder

P.S. Thanks to Arizona’s Charitable Tax Credit, your tax dollars can be redirected to helping someone find a new beginning and most importantly – hope. Gifts to Neighborhood Ministries, up to $421 for those filing singly and up to $841 for those filing jointly, can be claimed as a dollar-for-dollar tax credit against your state taxes!

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