By Ronald G. Davis
I have been a stranger, a stranger given gracious hospitality. From fried pumpkin blossoms for breakfast to keys to a lakeside vacation home in a gated community (when the owner was away!), I have been accepted in Christian love. Sunday dinner at McDonald’s was a special treat because the children who enjoyed my visit in their home wanted me to experience what they loved best and were convinced I would, too. (I did!) As a member of the staff of a Bible college, I traveled across many states and was hosted by a myriad of families. I am most aware that faith instills love and that love shows itself in kindness.
Good, Better, Best
When I “graduated” from seventh grade to high school (in the olden days), our class chose “Good, better, best—never let it rest; until the good is the better, and the better is the best” as our class motto. Little did we understand the true distinctions. We thought we knew. We thought, reasoned, and talked like the children we were. Best, to us, was little more than temporary trinkets and superficial admiration by others. Marriage, children, life and death, aging—only maturity taught us the supreme value of sincere love. We needed to experience it. Years give the perspective youth lacks.
Faith, Hope, Love
I once traveled with a group of young adults snowed out of a wilderness camping adventure (in July in the Rockies), and we were allowed to sleep in a church building in a small town. And it wasn’t the kind of church we were affiliated with. All it took was a phone call request to one we did not know nor who knew us. Love does not recognize sectarian designations. The Spirit, in Paul’s pen, described it perfectly in 1 Corinthians 13. Faith that moves mountains is good. Love is best. Faith that endures and grows in service is good. Love is best. Love that wants the absolute best for others—that is what our faith must teach us.
Ronald G. Davis is a retired classroom teacher living in North College Hill, Ohio with his wife of 50 years, Ruth, his younger daughter, and her son, an 8-year-old shadowed by autism.