One day in our Morning Prayer group, the talk turned to how we aren’t walking the Christian path well enough and that’s why the church isn’t full every Sunday. The specific example that was offered was about a leader in the church that goes home and smokes. Having grown up in a smoking household, hating the smoke, I never thought of smoking as a sin against God and spoke up. As usual, my friends had something to teach me. They pointed out to me that this is something that affects the well-being of someone physically, economically and spiritually. The more concrete aspect involves treating the sacred temple of our body with respect and not doing something known to be harmful to it. Being fortunate enough to be middle class, my mother’s smoking never made us go hungry. Here, however, where resources are extremely tight, the money spent on a pack of cigarettes could buy 3# of rice, a staple of the diet here. Smoking, in a sense, robs food from the family which can lead to hunger. The conclusion of the discussion was that we don’t have enough love, not just the smoker, but all of us. Loving God above all else is the primary commandment. Love your neighbor as yourself is the next in line of importance. Spending money on food for the family shows love to your family, whereas spending money on ‘wants’ when ‘needs’ exist, shows more love for ourselves than for others. What are you doing successfully to show your love for your ‘neighbor’ and what can you do to improve?
Please pray for our construction projects (there is a new one funded by a UTO grant, in addition to the new church building), for families here and for my teaching at the university PT program. May God’s peace and grace fill your life.