“Slow down, Erin.”
“If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient...”
1 Corinthians 13: 3-4a (NLT)
Over the past three months, I had the opportunity to help out at the Special Training and Resources (STAR) Youth Ministry headed by Tracey Chan. It has been an eye-opening and insightful journey for me as I gradually learn to accept, communicate, and understand a group of perfectly beautiful individuals. These individuals are often known as the special needs youth.
During a Jenga block game session, I found myself getting slightly impatient with one of the clients (the special needs youth who are enrolled under the STAR Youth Ministry are known as clients) because she did not follow when I instructed her to slow down her pace when removing the blocks from the block tower to prevent the tower from tumbling down.
The patience portrayed through their actions towards the clients is love indeed.
“Slow down, Erin.” I reminded myself. By this I mean to be patient. This incident has taught me to accept and understand her and think of alternative ways to communicate the message to her, rather than expecting her to follow my way of doing things.
I also had the privilege to learn from a team of faithful and committed volunteers who sincerely care for the clients. Some of them have been serving in this ministry for over a decade! “What kept them going?” I wonder. Nevertheless, imperfect as they may be, I must say that they have showed Jesus to these clients who can sometimes be challenging to teach. The patience portrayed through their actions towards the clients is love indeed.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT) says “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Love is the very nature of God and we, beloved children of God, are also given the capacity to be like Christ; to imitate His character; to love and show patience to the people around us, even those who may be more difficult to relate to.
Do you have a person in mind whom you think you can learn to be more patient with starting today?
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
1 Corinthians 13:7 (NLT)
Erin Lim serves as an intern in Community Excel Services from September to December 2016. Over the next few weeks, she will be blogging about her experiences at CES and our ministries.