A call to love, not to judge

As we are getting reading to wrap up the school year and getting close to Thanksgiving, we had our own little celebration at the Sparrow Academy. This year was a little different; last year all the kids, staff and some extra visitors sat together in one big table and ate chicken(Honduran style for Thanksgiving) and thanked God for all his provision. This year the Lord put in my heart to celebrate it with an act of thanksgiving by showing honor and love to our parents. Let me tell you why….

Through all month God has being working in my heart in specific areas of my life, areas I didn’t know I needed work but areas that were making me have feelings that were not of love. As you all know I have a close relationship with the kids at school, they are part of my life and my heart.  It is almost as if they are my own. Our relationship goes beyond more than just me THE PRINCIPAL making them obey at school; it goes deeper to them sharing their feelings, their dreams, their struggles, and their rejection, and I usually dig in a little bit more on what happens at home as well. With that being said I found myself being angry and judgmental toward some parents that I knew they were not showing love and value to their own kids. Of course my judgmental feelings, of how they needed to fix it or how their only job of being parents was not done right, needed to be addressed. My thought was “if they can only see the kids heart” they will know how much they are missing”. But I figured that though was not from the Lord and he showed me that, through the Friday celebration with the parents.

He guided me to the scripture of Luke 7: 36-50 – this scripture talks about the woman who came to Jesus recognizing he was the savior and in need of his forgiveness. But I want to talk about what the Pharisee, who had invited Jesus to his house, said:

v.39 “Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, if this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner”

Let’s stay there for a minute.  The Pharisee knowing the law and the word of God, decided to judge really quickly in his heart. I found myself doing this.  “if Jesus only knew how they act”, I used my time to judge instead of love, forgetting Jesus already knows who they are.  This past month I have been reminded of who my God is and how I am called to love and serve to be able to show Jesus.

So back to the celebration. We invited the parents to the academy and they were surprised by the Thanksgiving brunch that led into a talk of how grateful and happy we are for their lives. Teachers made little cards of encouraging words for each individual parent. At that moment, I knew the Lord was showing me if I keep letting my judgmental heart get in the way I will be wasting my time. As Mother Teresa once said, “If you judge people you have no time to love them”. I cannot change who they are, and fix the things that are broken because that is what Jesus does.  I cannot judge the lack of love from someone that is in need of the source of love. Instead, what I can do is spend my time searching for ways that I can serve, and be a support for them when things aren’t easy.

God works in ways we don’t expect, and I recognized that this past week when I saw the smile of a mother who was tired, struggling and weary, being told that she is valued, she is loved and there is redemption. This is a reminder of what God does for us daily. When we hear his voice saying, it’s okay, I know what you are going through, and guess what? I still love you the same.

So as we celebrate and thank God for what he has done, who He is to us and to our families, why don’t you join me in prayer for those moms and dads that are lacking that love. I encourage you as well, to give love and show your thankfulness in thoughtful ways this week, especially to the people who you are quick to judge. Find them, show them kindness and make them feel love. We are grateful for his sacrifice, and for his redemption in our lives. Hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving!

With Love,

Elena Faulkner