Imperfect Love

November 11, 2010 at 7:00 am 1 comment

“Imperfect Love” -By Phil Ware

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18)

At our Sunday orientation session, Miguel had warned us, “Your love for these children will make this the happiest time you have ever gotten lice.” He was right — both about the lice and about the love.

When we returned home from our trip to La Comunidad de Los Niños – Sagrada Familia, we left our luggage in the garage because of the smell and the lice. We would bring in a load to wash and leave the rest there in the garage. Each whiff of the aroma coming off those clothes brought back memories. These were precious memories, fond memories, of children and our time with them. While the lice and the aroma came out of the clothes, the children were permanently embedded in our hearts.

One powerful moment happened on Tuesday of this trip. I was not sure what had happened or how it happened until after we arrived home and I was going through some pictures that my friend Spencer had taken. The story told by this one picture moved me to tears when I first saw it.

This was a picture of Donna and two little girls on the playground at “The Community.” One little girl, Adriana, was snuggled under Donna’s left arm, looking at her face-to-face. She was staring intently into Donna’s eyes. Through an interpreter, Donna asked her if she was tired and wanted to go back and rest. “No!” she said, “I want to stay here with you.” And she stayed there the whole seventy-five minutes we were on the playground, her little, thin body and her blank expression absorbing the affection that my wife poured out to this precious, but deeply broken child.

When we first met Adriana, her face was expressionless, except when she was crying. She would stiffen anytime I drew near. She played by herself and withdrew from the other children when they shared in activities. This precious little girl had been profoundly mistreated by an older stepbrother when she was two and been brought to “The Community” for protection. Adriana was guarded and withdrawn, locked down deep in a shell she had created to protect herself. Yet somehow, in Donna’s lap, and looking into Donna’s eyes, and shielded under Donna’s arm, some of that shell melted away.

While “perfect love drives out fear,” all we had was our imperfect love. We wondered how much difference our feeble efforts could make on such a mountain of needs. This picture reminded me that imperfect love goes a long way when powered by the grace of Jesus.

Adriana was different the rest of the week with us. She played with us. She played with the other children. She participated in our Bible stories and the learning activities. She smiled some. She even laughed a little. And she snuggled close — not just to Donna and another lady in our group, but also to me.

On the final day of our visit, she wiggled her way down into my lap with six other little girls. She snuggled in close, pulled my arm over her, and went to sleep feeling safe, loved, and secure.

While none of us have the perfect love that Jesus demonstrated, we each shared our imperfect love, and somehow the grace of Jesus made it enough for the moment. And that picture of Donna and Adriana lives in my heart as a reminder of how God uses that imperfect love to make breakthroughs and turnarounds that we did not think possible.

Keep showing your love for one another & sending out that baby jar love!


Entry filed under: Guest Post.


1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Nicole  |  November 11, 2010 at 9:30 am

    what an amazing story!!


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