Not only was Donna* handicapped but also she was a biracial child, and her unwed mother was living with Julie and her husband in the parsonage. Julie was torn between her heart-rending need to love Donna and the barrier of pride that stood in the way. She wanted to love her fully, but fear of what people would think haunted her constantly.
While agonizing over this, she clung to the verse of scripture that had sustained her during the months before Donna's birth: "...but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9). Was God's grace sufficient to replace the shame, pride, fear and guilt in her heart with love? She felt so weak--could His power be made perfect in her for the days that lay ahead?
Julie bowed her head and asked God to forgive her and give her strength to overcome her lack of love. While she was praying, the Holy Spirit brought to her mind a prayer she'd read that Ann Kiemel Anderson prayed. Ann had wanted to witness to Mario, the janitor who vacuumed the halls of their apartment building, so she prayed: "Lord, help me to be to Mario what You would be to Mario if You were living here in this apartment building with Mario."
Using Ann's prayer as a guide, Julie prayed sincerely from her heart: "Lord, help me to love Donna the way You would love Donna if You were here caring for Donna."
Julie said, "I cannot explain the miracle that took place. After praying that unpretentious prayer, love so pure and strong, so full and complete, flooded my being. It was simply God's amazing grace." She thanked and praised Him for the marvelous way He had answered her prayer.
Thank You, Jesus, that You simply ask us to be a channel of Your love to others.
"God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8 NIV84).
*Names have been changed.