Now for me, this is a special blog.
I have chosen to introduce all of you lucky people to my main man, Alvin.
Throughout the course of my internship, I have meet some pretty interesting and loving people, but Alvin takes the cake!
One day as I’m working, watering and cultivating the garden, as only I can do, a man catches my attention. He’s standing on the other side of the fence, looking at me, and motions me forward with the waving of his finger. Of course at first I am extremely hesitant. But I put my pride aside, and wander over towards him. He looks me square in the eye and the next words to leave his mouth are…. “Thank You”.
He must have caught on to how confused I looked, because he then goes on to explain himself. Alvin is homeless and every night he sleeps on the other side of the fence at the garden that I work at. He tells me that he has been homeless for awhile, and was a Vietnam war veteran.
The rest of our conversation went something like this,
Alvin: I say thank you, because this Garden is my paradise. I am blessed with the opportunity to wake up every morning and the first thing that I have the chance to see is this garden. And the reason why it stays beautiful is because of interns like you. I praise God that you continue to make this garden look beautiful. And I want you to have this (hands me a ring and a bracelet )”
Me: (speechless, holding back tears)
For me, this is exactly what the love of Christ looks like when it’s lived out. What happened between me and Alvin on this day, was an exchange. I was giving Alvin something that I had no idea I was giving, and in exchange he literally took the things that meant the most to him, and gave it to me as a token of gratitude, that moved me to tears.
The fact that someone had so little but was willing to give up so much caused me to reevaluate the way that I show the love of Christ. It reminded me that love is not only patient and kind, but it also reminded me of some other characteristics…
“It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
– 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
Alvin reminded me that love is Selfless .
So as a reminder that Christ not only calls us to remember that he died for our sins, but he calls us to live as he lived, and act as he acted. Alvin showed me Christ’s Love in action and because of that, I wear the ring he gave me, on a necklace with my most treasured item, My Cross.
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness on you.
– Hosea 10:12