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“Haven’t your lips longed for my touch?
Don’t say how much, show me,
Don’t talk of love lasting through time
Make me no undying vow
Show me now!”

In My Fair Lady, Eliza Doolittle says she doesn’t want words–she wants action that expresses love.

Centuries earlier, the apostle James contended that words without action are meaningless.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” James 2:14-1

Installing water heater

Installing water heater

One year the small group Don and I were in committed to working in a poor, local community.

Painting porch

Painting porch

Some residents were ill and unable to correct safety liabilities. Others were held hostage by landlords who refused to repair collapsing steps and porches. Several needed access ramps built to accommodate disabilities. Along with other teams, we corrected these safety issues, installed a new water heater, repainted homes and parts of the elementary school, built ramps and rebuilt porches. As groups worked at each identified home, both the recipients of help and their neighbors saw the love of God at work.

I too have been a recipient of this kind of love. Following my first husband’s death in Florida, I returned alone to our home In California. During our eight-month absence, a lot had been neglected. A dear friend met with me to identify tasks needing to be done in both yard and house. Then three groups—from my church, my brother’s church, and our neighbors—met for a work day. I made Chicken Tortilla Soup while they trimmed, mowed, installed new sprinkler lines, and helped me reorganize the kitchen. I experienced God’s love in action through the generosity of these friends, some of whom I hadn’t met before that day.

Love in action may target those who don’t yet know Jesus, as in the communities we serve with compassion. It may target brothers and sisters in Christ. But when we minister as the arms and feet of Christ, others begin to see the love of Jesus in ways they can comprehend.

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