“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13:34-35
Solidarity. Obedience. Love. When I was recently asked to describe what guides Cross in a few short words – these are the ones that came to mind. As a staff member for the last nine years, I’ve heard many heroic accounts from the field and have been blessed to meet many of the people behind those stories. But do you know what stories really stick out in my mind? That would be the ones that represent those three values. I’m particularly inspired by people who don’t just stand by when they see someone in need, they do something to help.
That’s why the story of Benoit Prophet inspires me.
Benoit is sweet, 65-year-old man who lives in a Dominican Republic “batey” – a housing settlement for sugar cane field workers. After working in the sugar cane fields for more than 40 years, Benoit was injured during last year’s harvest season and hasn’t been able to work or walk since.
In obedience to God, the people in Beniot’s community demonstrate solidary with others who share their hardships by responding in love to this neighbor in need. They don’t have much to offer, but that doesn’t stop them. Every day, they gather what little food they can and make sure Benoit has at least a small bowl of rice to eat.
As Christ-followers, we should be looking for similar opportunities to serve; to provide for the needs of others, no matter how insignificant we think a small gesture might be.
John 13:34-35 reminds us to love one another. This will help the world know who we are – His disciples. Small, simple gestures of solidarity, obedience and love speak volumes about the compassion and mercy of the God we serve.