“And they’ll know we are Christians, by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love!”
That was one of my favorite hymms when I was growing up. I was always disappointed when the choir director, always in a hurry to finish, would stop after just one verse, and not sing the next few. Even at a young age, I found the words powerful, though I didn’t quite understand why until years later – Years later when I met the person that song was written about. Or at least – I’d like to think so.
A few years ago, I sat in the same row every week at church – Week after week after week. And so did the lady with the Vera Bradley bag. Our friendship began with a mutual, what we like to call a “borderline obsession” with purses – specifically, Vera Bradley purses! We began running into each other in different places, and would always say, “Hi Vera!” to each other. Soon, Judy was inviting me to sit in “Row J” with her and her family for Wednesday night services. And, it wasn’t long before her husband Dick was jokingly telling me I needed to be carrying at least one Vera Bradley item before being allowed to sit in “Row J” on Wednesday nights. Soon, Dick, Judy, and their family and friends became MY family and friends.
Over the years, I have watched Judy and Dick live their lives. I’ve witnessed, and even been blessed by, the spirit of generosity that they have. I’ve sat at their kitchen table, and observed the humble life they live. I’ve had the privilege of watching them bless person after person after person in the sweetest, most thoughtful and “Judy and Dick” kind of ways…. And I’ve watched also as they sat vigil for hours every day for months while their close friend lay in a coma at the hospital. Most impressive, is that although he does not communicate, Dick is bedside daily with his friend praying over him, talking to him – never taking even a moment for himself to read a magazine or watch television. And the random calls from Judy when she is in Kohl’s and sees a great deal always make me smile. “Hi Rita, this is Judy. There are nice polo shirts on sale, and I was wondering if Ian could use a few, and if so, what color and size would he like? Call me when you have time. Love you, Dear.”
Judy & Dick know that at the end of the day, it’s GOD they are accountable to, and instead of trying to “impress” others with fancy clothes or flashy “things” – It is HIM they aim to please. You can’t spend 5 minutes with them, and NOT see that! They know that this world is so very temporary, and so are the “things” in it. How do I know that they know this? By the WAY that they live their lives.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15
So when I heard that old hymm play the other day, “And they’ll know we are Christians, by our love, by our love. Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love!” I couldn’t help but to think of Judy & Dick.
I still love that song. And, I would encourage EVERYONE (including myself), to listen intently to the words. They don’t say, “And they’ll know we are Christians by the clothes that we wear, or by the way that we pray in public with the intention of everyone seeing us.” The song says, “They’ll know we are CHRISTIANS BY OUR LOVE, BY OUR LOVE!”
God knows our hearts. And He is more interested in our hearts, than in what outfit we’re sporting while sitting in the pew.
I love you, Judy & Dick. THANK YOU, for living your lives in such a way that you are an example of how to live to both myself, and to my ENTIRE family! The MacDonald’s LOVE YOU!