This I Believe

Jenna - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on December 9, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: Christianity
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“Praise Him, praise Him all you little children…”

As a small child growing up in church, this song was one of my all-time favorites. In my 6-year old opinion, any song having to do with Jesus was good to my ears. Now as a young adult, I realize how this song has become the basis of my every day life.

While in downtown Dallas feeding homeless people, real, sacrificial and selfless love was made known to me by a man named Rip Parker. Mr. Parker fed the homeless every day without fail. He gave selflessly of his time and money to provide food for people he hardly knew. Conversation with Rip led to a discussion about why he fed the homeless like he did. It was only after the day was over that I realized the magnitude of what I had been told.

Mr. Parker described to me a love I had only briefly known: a love for other people, but mostly the “dying” love of our Lord. I learned of his faith devotion to carrying out what he felt was God’s will for his life. By loving the men on the streets of Dallas, Mr. Rip Parker was showing and returning the love of the Lord.

Since that day, I have often been reminded of the goodness that came from the work that Mr. Parker did. When he passed away over two years ago, those with and without homes felt the effects. Reflecting back on what I learned, I have rediscovered time and time again how loved I am and my duty as a Christian to pass on this sacrificial love.

Sometimes, I know that this love will be hard because I cannot make or force what I think is best on the people I get to serve. Instead, I have to remember that to truly love and help people, I must help them see options and to make the most informed decision possible. I cannot always give the “right” or “best” answer; I can only give direction and the tools necessary to do what he or she believes to be best for the situation.

“…God is love, God is love!”

Every breath I breathe and day I live is a gift of my Jesus’ amazing love for me. I have believed this for as long as I can remember, but only recently was a more definite shape created out of the abstract idea of God becoming and embodying love. Because of this gift, I believe that the sole purpose for my life is to love others with as perfect a love as humanly possible. By spending my life working to make others’ lives better, I am sharing God’s love. I do not have to be forward or even tell people how or why I believe; I simply have to act in the most loving, compassionate way possible. Most of all, I believe that love is the simplest answer to any and every question and situation.