Meeting new people is one of the perks of my job. It's one of the ways I pacify my humanity when the news is so depressingly tragic I imagine trading my job for one at Wal-Mart, greeting the shoppers.
A few weeks ago I was the guest speaker at the Saint Louis Christian Chinese Community Service Center. I am a new fan of the Center, and my appreciation for it is growing by leaps and bounds.
It has become a treasured friend to those it serves. After all, good friends do nurture, embrace, and support us. And that is what clients have found at the Center.
From the adult learning program to the center's health clinic to its seniors' program, the center is advertised as being "built on love"...on the understanding that each and every person is special and deserves to be treated as such. I assure you, it lives up to its billing.
As you and I both know, the word love is often handled so carelessly. It is tossed about indisciminately, dropped on convenience, and dispatched when all else fails. Yet, the heart feels when the emotion is genuine. It cannot be fooled. In fact, it is quite discerning...and it tends to become wiser the longer it stays on the job.
So when the seniors...many of whom are still adjusting to our Western lifestyle...say they have found love at the Center...you believe them for they are wise and know when they are in the midst of it.
Can you imagine what an awesome challenge is must be to locate a safe haven where you feel welcome and understood and appreciated in a country that is, for the most part, filled with the novel: new language, new customs, and new people?
Love is the cornerstone of the Christian faith...and this is the Saint Louis CHRISTIAN Chinese Community Service Center. And from what I observed they are the embodiment of the bible verse found in 1 John 4:19: "...let us not love with words...but with actions and in truth."
One evening spent with my new friends at the Center, and I was reminded of all the good that is being done...many times quietly and without fanfare.