Posted on May 21, 2019

19 May 2019

The largest Sunday School bus ministry in America is not in the suburbs. It’s in Hell’s kitchen, NY. Pastor Bill Wilson tells the story of a Puerto Rican woman who came to him with an urgent request.  She didn’t speak in English so she said in Spanish: “I want to do something for God, please.”
The pastor didn’t know what to tell her. It was a good question, usually people want God to do something for them. “I don’t know he said.  I”ll have to think about it.”
Finally, it came to him, “You can ride the buses,” he said. “Each week get on a different bus and just love the children on that bus.”
And that’s what she did.  She’d get on a different bus each week, usually find the dirtiest, most neglected looking child, sit next to him or her and say the only words she knew how to say in English, “I love you.  Jesus loves you.”
After several month she became attached to one boy in particular. “I don’t want to change buses anymore, I want to stay on this one,” she said.
The little boy never spoke.  Each week he came to Sunday school with his sister and sat on the woman’s lap. Each week she would whisper in his ear, “I love you.  Jesus loves you.”
One day to her amazement, the little boy turned around and stammered, “I, I love you, too.”
That was 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon. At 6:30 that night, the boy was found dead in a garbage bag under a fire escape.  He was beaten to death by one of his parents. Some of the last words he ever heard were: “I love you.”
This isn’t a cute story.  It isn’t sentimental. It’s a true story which is always better than the stuff we can make up about love.
Two things: 1.  Maybe more and more as we grow older the question should be: “What can I do for God?” instead of, “What can God do for me?”
2.  Maybe more and more as we grow older we should distrust the impulses in us to sentimentalize love, at least Christian love and remember that when Jesus said it, he was about to be betrayed, about to die.
That might actually call forth in us a more profound way of living the Gospel.
(Story from Bill Wilson, “Why I Chose to Live in Hell,” Charisma Magazine, October 1996, p 62)