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Love . . . in Obscurity

My Friend Debbie

     February is sometimes referred to as "Love Month." The retailers have stocked their shelves to overflowing with everything from cards expressing love to flowers to chocolate delights. When I stop to ponder what our Lord Jesus thinks of "love," I've often considered this verse-"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends," (John 15:13 NKJV).

     A story like this helps to "bring it home":

     A number of years ago, in a mental institution outside Boston, a young girl known as "Little Annie" was locked in the dungeon. The dungeon was the only place, said the doctors, for those who were hopelessly insane. In Little Annie's case, they saw no hope for her, so she was consigned to a living death in that small cage which received little light and even less hope. About that time, an elderly nurse was nearing retirement. She felt there was hope for all of God's children, so she started taking her lunch into the dungeon and eating outside Little Annie's cage. She felt perhaps she should communicate some love and hope to the little girl.

  My Friend Debbie
  Anne Sullivan

     In many ways, Little Annie was like an animal. On occasions, she would violently attack the person who came into her cage. At other times, she would completely ignore them. When the elderly nurse started visiting her, Little Annie gave no indication that she was even aware of her presence. One day, the elderly nurse brought some brownies to the dungeon and left them outside the cage. Little Annie gave no hint she knew they were there, but when the nurse returned the next day, the brownies were gone. From that time on, the nurse would bring brownies when she made her Thursday visit. Soon after, the doctors in the institution noticed a change was taking place. After a period of time they decided to move Little Annie upstairs. Finally, the day came when the "hopeless case" was told she could return home. But Little Annie did not wish to leave. She chose to stay, to help others. It was she who cared for, taught, and nurtured Helen Keller, for Little Annie's name was Anne Sullivan.

  My Friend Debbie
  Helen Keller

     (From James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 289-290.)

     I was brought to tears when I heard this amazing story of a woman who has left this earth . . . unsung . . . unknown . . . nameless. Yet her example of love to the "least of these" changed the course of history for the plight of the blind and deaf. All it took was love . . .through a plate of brownies.

My Friend Debbie      This Valentine's Day, think about someone who never receives a card, a bouquet of flowers, or delicious chocolates on this sometimes painful day for those who feel unloved. Your act of love just may change the course of history, and God our Rewarder will lavish you with abundance in Heaven.

     God may not ask you to literally lay down your life for another . . . but giving a plate of heart-shaped cookies with a note attached about the love of God to your unsaved neighbor, the widower across the street, or the woman next door who has been hardened through her divorce will capture the attention of Heaven . . . and someone's life (or even history!) may be changed for the glory of God!

     Happy "Love Month"!

Copyright © 2008-2015 Alyson Shedd

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