This week I have been sharing a morning devotional with the team entitled “Love Like That” by Dr. Les Parrott which focuses on ways that we can love more like Jesus. Today’s devotional focused on grace, and I wanted to share an excerpt from it:
If you want to be a better grace-giver, you’ve got to continually and consciously receive the grace God gives you. “Whoever has been forgiven only a little,” Jesus said, “loves only a little.” [Luke 7:47] The more grace we receive, the more love we give. When we aren’t cognizant of God’s unconditional acceptance in our own lives, we can’t give it to others. Judgementalism sees to that.
Here’s the truth: God’s grace is received, not achieved. Grace does not depend on what we have done for God but rather what God has done for us. And continually receiving God’s grace – in the deepest and most central parts of our beings – is the only true and lasting remedy to ugly judgements and holier-than-thou attitudes. “To be Christian means to excuse the inexcusable,” said C.S. Lewis, “because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.”
Love is not the cause of grace. It’s the proof of it. When we are conscious of God’s grace in our lives, we are automatically more loving and accepting of others. I’m not naïve about our judgements. I don’t think it’s possible to live a life where we never judge anyone, ever. But once you embrace God’s grace, once you raise your consciousness around this gift you are continually given, you get immeasurably closer to loving like Jesus.
I am so thankful for the incredible gift of God’s grace, and for the reminder that I need to first receive God’s grace if I want to truly show grace to others (and myself for that matter). I will continue to work on accepting the gift of God’s grace because I want to love like Jesus.
Now for some updates from the past few weeks….
The last week of April we had a small barrio team from Louisville, Kentucky and two members from Michigan. After a busy season of large teams, a team of 9 was a nice change of pace. I appreciated the opportunity to have conversations with all the team members and get to know them.
The following week we had two teams serving with us: a gynecology surgery team and a team of physical therapy students. Both teams had successful weeks, and members of the surgical team spent any free moment during the day helping organize supplies in the clinic. I am very grateful for their help! A highlight of that week for me was probably hearing the impact the trip had on the nursing and physical therapy students – having this experience at the start of their careers will forever shape who they are as healthcare professionals.
Last week we did not have a team, so I spent my days catching up on computer work and projects around the house. Tyler was stateside for the week, so Osa stayed with me while he was gone. Arlo enjoyed having his best friend around, and I loved all the extra Osie snuggles.
May is our Dominican staff appreciation month so on Friday we had a beach day to celebrate them. The staff chose a beach in Guayacanes which was a new beach for most of us. There was a lot of team bonding time on the bus ride there and back, and I think everyone had a good day. I am glad I remembered to pack a few floaters…it gave some of the kids the confidence to spend some time in the ocean.
This week we have had a barrio team here from Southern Utah University. This is another smaller team comprised of mainly pre-med and pre-dental students. I have really enjoyed their positive attitudes and willingness to learn. On Tuesday I made a new friend, Sara, at our barrio clinic. She hung out with me for about half an hour while her grandmother took a couple other grandchildren to see the doctor. When I went to give her back to her grandma she told her no, she wanted to stay with me. Sweet little Sara sure made my day!
- Health and rest
- Safe travels for my parents and grandma who are coming to visit me next month (I am very excited about this!)