Come and see

I’ve been at our church’s camp this week, and some of the counselors have been sharing the ways they’ve been blessed by campers, and how they have been a blessing in return.

One counselor told me how he had his kids each make a paper heart that said, “I love you,” and then give them to someone else. One young camper refused to take part. He’d made a heart, but had written the words “I don’t love” on it. The counselor knew the back story behind the hurt, and was determined to show the child the love of Jesus Christ. But how?

Just then, a girl came up and gave her paper heart to the boy. He held it up proudly. He kept it with him the rest of the week; put it under his pillow when he slept. It turned out to be the just the opening the counselor was praying for.

The Gospel of John says that Jesus recruited his disciples in a seemingly random, serendipitous way. “Come and see,” he told some men who happened to be walking behind him.

I wonder why we make things in the church so hard. We worry what we’ll say to non-Christians, when what is most needed is a heart for love. We think in terms of programs, when paper hearts will do. Could church be as simple as, say, hanging out with a hurting child?

Come and see.

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