I absolutely love avocado! Along with being delightfully delicious, it is a versatile fruit. Not to mention that it’s outstandingly healthy—one of the best sources of natural oils and many vitamins.
When I was eight years old, my family and I watched a BBC documentary featuring a group of British WW2 veterans who had fought in North Africa. Throughout the film, the veterans related their wartime experiences, most of which were accounts of withstanding hunger, terror, and deprivation on the path to victory. Although these stories were moving, the most unforgettable one for me was a different sort of tale. It was related by a frail, white-haired gentleman who smiled warmly and said that his most unforgettable experience was when he was gifted a peach!
When I came in for my nursing shift in the department for Alzheimer’s sufferers, one patient was very agitated and wouldn’t sit still. I could have given her some medication to calm her, but as she wasn’t aggressive or in pain, I instead walked around with her for a while. It was an aimless stroll; I would stop at times to look at paintings, show her a teddy bear, look out the window, etc., but mostly we just walked.
When I was born, only a few years after WW2, Holland was still getting back on its feet, and the aftermath of the war and occupation was still visible. I grew up hearing many stories about the things people had endured, and it filled me with deep respect for the sacrifices that had been made, including by those who chose to stay true to their convictions, even to their own harm.
Before you go to sleep, think about My love for you. If you count your blessings, you’ll see how I have blessed you in so many ways, through so many things and so many people. Each of these is a token of My love for you personally.
The Bible is a rich storehouse of spiritual and practical advice, and examples of strong relationships are one of the recurrent themes. In fact, Martin Luther commented that the entire Christian life consists of relating to people around us.1
So what can we learn from the Bible about how to succeed with people?
We recently organized our first puppet show for children visiting their fathers in the toughest men’s penitentiary in Mexico City, the prison for inmates who have lost all their appeals, even their plea to not be transferred to that penitentiary. There, they have nothing left to do but live out their sentence.
In the course of our lives as followers of Jesus, there are always ways to minister to others, either occasionally or regularly. The common denominator in each such activity or scenario is that the goal is to convey love and kindness.
I recently took my teenage son to an ecotourism project in the big Complexo do Alemão group of favelas [slums] in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are cable gondolas that stop on all five mountaintops, from where we could see the entire bay and all the beautiful mountain ranges. Dotting the mountains, there are also thousands of small huts lacking decent roofs and with bare and unpainted brick walls. Those were the favelas.
The Bible teaches that we are responsible to do our best with the talents and abilities that God has given us.1 He has entrusted us with skills, resources, time, energy, minds, and spirits, and we’ll find the greatest satisfaction when we invest them in things that please God and that are aligned with His plan.