Sunday, March 29, 2009

True Love

Some dear friends of ours need your prayers. We first met Bro. Don and Elaine Rogers way back in 1983 when my husband and I flew down to southern Mexico where they were missionaries. My husband overhauled their church's diesel bus. We fell in love with this missionary family. There were six children and, of course, Elaine homeschooled them. This is the family that inspired us to homeschool our three children!

Through the years to come, every time they would come home to the U.S. on furlough they would spend some time with us on our farm. I can remember waking up to pallets in every room with kids laying everywhere....theirs and ours. Their kids and our kids made trails through the woods and rode go-carts until we ran out of gas. Such great memories.

My greatest memories though are of the spiritual things Elaine has taught me over the years. She has had the greatest impact on my spiritual growth than any other woman I have ever known. She lives and breathes Jesus Christ.

Several weeks ago Bro. Don suffered a massive stroke. He was first in the hospital in Mexico, then moved to a Texas border town, then on to North Carolina where two of their children now live. He is in a nursing home now where Elaine spends every day by his side.

I received an email from Elaine last week, part of which I want to share with you.

Hola Marilyn!I was remembering a story you wrote once about a woman who sold her hair and a husband who also sold something precious. Can you recall which one it was? It came to my mind as I was reflecting on my love for Don. Also that poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, "How do I love thee, let me count the ways." I want to read it to Don. I am at his bedside all day. Pray for me dear friend as the love of my life is slipping away from me. Elaine

I went to my files and found the story I had written back in 2001. That woman has got some kind of a great memory! I had titled it True Love and will share it with you now.


TRUE LOVE

From the time I was a young girl, one of my favorite stories about true love was a short story by O’Henry called “The Gift of the Magi”. It told the sweet tale of a young husband and wife, named Jim and Della, who loved each other very much. If you’ve never read it, I would recommend you do. Unknown to each other, Della sold her long, luxurious hair to buy a watch chain for a Christmas present for Jim and Jim sold his gold watch to buy some expensive tortoise shell hair combs for Della to put in her hair. They could neither one use the gift the other had gotten them but they knew they had the complete love of their mate because of their unselfish sacrifice of wanting the other to have the best they could give. To me, that’s true love. Loving someone else more than you love yourself. John 13:33 "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."

A couple of weeks ago I was looking in my cedar chest for something and came across some old love letters I had written to my husband before we got married. In one of the letters I had included a little poem on a piece of red paper. The poem said, “The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay, Love isn’t love till you give it away.” Sometimes that’s easy to say but hard to do. We want to keep our heart all in one piece and so won’t risk giving our love away lest we don’t receive love in return. Sure, we can keep our heart in one piece this way but it is a lonely way to live. Any time we reach out in love to someone, we are taking a risk of getting hurt….but it is definitely worth the risk! How else would we ever know “True Love” without giving a part of our heart to that other person. God reached out and gave us His love before we even knew anything about Him. 1John 4: 9-11 "In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another." Jesus Christ needs to be our True Love and then He will enable us to reach out and love others in turn. (February 2001)

Please pray for this special couple. Bro. Don and Elaine have given their lives to missions in Mexico for over thirty years. They are a remarkable pair. They love each other so much. The love they have for each other has been made even stronger because of their love for their Lord!

Marilyn

3 comments:

Yolanda said...

What a friend we have in Jesus just comes to my mind and heart as I read this.

Lord, touch Marilyn's friends, in their own hour and time of need.

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Leah said...

Now you have the opportunity, once again, to minister to this sweet couple. God bless you as you do. God bless them as their lives are changing so drastically

Leah

Lisa said...

I'm lifting them up in prayer right now!
Blessings - Lisa