Week 8 Day 6
John 13:34“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Several years ago I was on a family camping trip in the Adirondack mountains of New York state. On one particular morning it was determined that this group of between twenty and thirty people would go out to climb one of what are known as the Eastern High peaks. The particular mountain chosen was called Mount Ampersand. If any of my readers know this mountain it offers some unique features. First it may be climbed in a day, second, it is just rugged enough to give the climber a sense of what it must be like to attempt more difficult ascents. Third, while potentially treacherous in bad weather the mountain offers spectacular views of the three Saranac lakes, and several other ponds as well as a glimpse into one of the “forever wild” areas of the Adirondack park.
On this particular day our very disparate group of housewives, husbands, children and teens began at the trailhead with mixed levels of enthusiasm. Soon, however the young, the strong and the healthy were way ahead and the rest of us were straggling along behind as best we could. About midway on the journey those of us on the lower reaches of the climb began to hear shouting and as we looked ahead, we saw a large group of high school age young people coming down the mountain together. In the middle of this group about eight of the crew were carrying a young lady who had slipped on the wet trail near the top and had either sprained or broken her ankle. As we moved aside to let the group pass I noted that as the eight young people took turns carrying the injured girl they would speak tender words of encouragement to her and each other. At the rear of the procession was a youth leader from the Younglife youth ministry team who were responsible for the group.
I was amazed then, and still am today of the tenderness and love expressed by this group of youn Christians. I cannot, nor would I presume to vouchsafe any person’s faith or level of understanding of Christ’s love, however, what I observed that day was to me an unspoken testimony of Christian love in action.
“And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love…” Peter Sholtes (1966)