(This post was written by Brad Ervin, Pastor of Outreach and Missions)
I have a 5 week old little boy at home.
He is our first child.
We are new parents.
For those of you with children, those three sentences are loaded with memories, both happy and terrifying! I could write post after post about all that I am learning about myself and about God during these sleep deprived weeks. About how selfish I am with my time, about how much of a control monster I can be, about patience, and at times…a little taste of what unconditional love must feel like.
Many nights, my wife and I will be laying in bed, doing our best to sleep a “whole two hours” between feeding the creature in the other room, and I’ll look over at her and think about how much I love her and how proud I am of her. Somewhere in the middle of the mushy thoughts, invariably, a cry will erupt from the other room – the “netherworld”, I call it. My wife awakens with a start…and now, the title of my blog comes into play. If I were to tenderly reach over, tap my wife on the shoulder and say sweetly, “I love you”, and then roll back over and leave her to go and take care of the dirty diaper/cold/hot/hungry/tired/grouchy baby, do you think it would make a huge impact on her? Would she be telling me the next morning, “Honey, that was the sweetest “I love you” last night at 3:15am, it really made the two-hour baby consoling marathon that followed go by so quickly!
Now, imagine the same situation: asleep, baby crying, we both are awake…except this time, I lean over, quickly kiss her on the forehead, and jump up to go into the other room and meet the needs of our son. Change his diaper, rock him, sing to him, etc. I didn’t say a word to her, but what did I communicate? I hope that she heard what I was saying in my heart as loudly as I could…”I love you!” Obviously, at some point in the night, she was still going to have to get up and feed him and I would have to sleep as well, but when I see her the next morning and she says, “Thank you for being so sweet last night. It makes everything easier in life knowing that I’m not doing it alone and that you love me enough to help in the ways you can.”
Which “I love you” says more? A few sweetly whispered words? Or an act of intentional, selfless service? Can you think of an example in your life where someone has served you lately and it made you feel loved? If yes, you’re probably smiling right now. There is something about being served and cared for that speaks more loudly to our hearts than any words written or spoken. I believe this principle is true in romantic relationships, in friendships, and believe it not, in everyday life with complete strangers. Actions often do speak more loudly than words.
On April 9th, 2011 – Faith Promise Church family, you have the opportunity to shout a giant “Jesus Loves You!” to the entire East Tennessee Valley. We are participating in Operation Inasmuch, which is an incredible ministry that helps us, as Christ-followers, actually take action in meeting the needs of the poor, the lonely, the disaffected, and the helpless in our own backyards. We aren’t shouting from our church steps – “Jesus loves you! Come to church!” – We are actually being the hands and feet of Jesus and loving people right where they are all over Anderson, Blount, and Knox counties. Our Operation Inasmuch team has found projects that are in need of willing hands and hearts and put them on our website where you, your family, and your small group can sign up to share the love of Christ to our community. Most of the projects are family friendly, because we want to give your entire family a chance to serve others, and I truly believe, be blessed and energized more than you can imagine!
We need your help to get the word out to the entire Faith Promise Family about this day of service on April 9th. There is a sign up page where you can find a list of projects. A project leader will then contact you with more detailed information about the day. This is an incredibly easy opportunity and first step to reaching the world outside the four walls of our buildings.
It is such a privilege for me to serve you, my Faith Promise family, and I hope by writing this blog and helping find opportunities to serve, you are hearing me say, “I love you and Jesus loves you.”