Love in Action – Today’s Family Devotion

Love in Action


Bible Reading of the Day: Read 1 John 3:18-20.

Verse of the Day: “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God” (1 John 4:7).

Mallory noticed the woman’s dirty fingernails as she dropped a bread roll onto the plate and handed it to her. Doesn’t she ever take a bath? she thought, staring at the woman’s matted hair.

The woman took the plate from Mallory and shuffled away without looking up. Mallory glanced at the next person in line at the homeless shelter Mallory’s family visited once a month. The gray-haired woman smiled at her, revealing a mouth with only a few teeth.

“Her name’s Clara,” the woman said. “Her husband died a few months ago. She hasn’t been the same since.”

Mallory quickly shifted her gaze and reached for another bread roll. She placed it on the plate of chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy that her brother gave her and handed it to the woman.

The woman smiled. “Thank you,” she said. “God bless you.”

Mallory blushed. This woman seemed different from many of the others at the shelter, who took their food and shuffled off without a word. She wasn’t dirty. Except for her missing teeth and worn clothes, she seems—well, normal, Mallory thought. Watching her walk away, Mallory felt embarrassed as she recalled her earlier complaints to her parents about going to the shelter. Her parents had gently insisted that she go, and Mallory had been grumpy ever since.

Mallory’s gaze once again found the woman with the missing teeth. She sat beside Clara and began to butter her roll. Then she cut Clara’s chicken, gently placing the fork in Clara’s hand when she was done.

Mallory left her place in the food line and took a seat next to the woman. “Are you related to Clara or something?” she asked.

“No,” the woman answered. She looked curious.

“I saw what you did for her. I mean, cutting her meat for her and everything.”

The woman shrugged. “I just want her to know that God loves her, and so do I. I tell her that often, but I think I say it a lot better in my actions. But why am I telling you? I bet that’s why you come here—to show God’s love to people like me.”

Mallory’s face showed her surprise. “Yeah,” she answered. “That’s why I come here.” She smiled at the woman, determined not to forget that again.

TO DO: Take a few moments to plan a family “project” intended to show God’s love to someone outside your family. You might bake cookies for a shut-in, take the family pet to visit nursing-home patients, baby-sit for a single parent, or shovel snow for an elderly couple.

TO PRAY: “Lord, we’re fortunate to have what you’ve given us. Show us ways we can share ourselves and our blessings with others.”