Friday afternoons were always a time to look forward to as a student at the Fiji Institute of Technology – School of Arts.Not because it was the weekend and classes had finished early but because you never knew what to expect during liberal class. The lecturers were such a blessing as they often came up with creative ways to motivate students into doing community work. Often there were clean-up campaigns organized down by the foreshore or at Suva point which was usually followed by touch rugby or a scrumptious lunch. There was even a time when students helped distribute second hand clothing to street kids. It’s always great fun doing such activities with friends. People you know well and enjoyed being around.
Now consider what it would be like to demonstrate kindness and compassion to complete strangers without the assistance of friends. What would it really mean to love others in such situations. I often struggle with this thought as I would walk through the city and see the lost, needy and broken seating on the sidewalks reaching out.
How often we look to our gifts, talents and intelligence to serve God when all he wants is just our availability.For God to be the center of everything, that we may be filled with His Spirit. This is what Paul was talking about in chapter two of his first letter to the Corinthians. Obtaining the Holy Spirit that we may be able to see things as Jesus did.
Now let’s put things into perspective, imagine one without genius and devoid of the artist’s training, setting down before Raphael’s famous picture of the Transfiguration and attempted to reproduce it. How crude and mechanical and lifeless his work would be. But if such a thing were possible that the spirit of Raphael should enter into the man and obtain mastery of his mind and eye and hand, it would be entirely possible that he should paint this masterpiece; for it simply would be Raphael reproducing Raphael. And this in a mystery is what is true of the disciple filled with the Holy Spirit. Christ by Spirit dwells within him as a Divine life, and Christ is able to image forth Christ from the interior life of the outward example.
‘Love until your hands bleed’ is a line form a particular song that really captivated me. Basically what the writer is trying to say is that there is a big difference between speaking love and showing it. This is why many consider the story of Jesus sheer poetry.
Martin Luther King, Jr. summed it all up when he said, “Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”