A few days ago a Special Gathering volunteer came to me and said, “I believe that the Lord has shown me that to help Valerie, I must simply love her. She is hurting and that is why she is so impossible to everyone.” It’s true. Varerie has recently lost her mother and father who were extremely protective of her. Her sisters have resented her because of the attention she received most of over their lives; and Valerie is no longer welcomed to be with their families. For several years, she was living in her own apartment but medical and behavioral issues forced her to move into a group home.
The staff at her new home is loving and cares deeply about Valerie. Yet, her bossy attitude keeps everyone stirring in anger and confusion. Each time we have Special Gathering, the residents emerge from the bus in an annoyed state, pushing and pulling of each other’s emotions. Even some of the members of SpG are effected. This volunteer notices the confusion that Valerie engenders.
There are so many people who are wounded that know no other reaction other than lashing out to wound others. Is the answer as simple as what the volunteer said. Can love simply work to heal hurts? The answer is yes but there must also be discipline. When Valerie decided to cause a stir later that day, the wise volunteer stepped in and firmly but gently disciplined her. Then she hugged Valerie.
Love is training our members into truth. In Titus, Paul wrote to a young pastor and told him to train his congregants in truth. Paul advised him that we must love enough to disciple. There must be a balance even for those who are wounded. We must help the wounded by reaching out in gentle love. Yet, when needed, we should also touch with grace and discipline with godly mercy.