I remember at the end of my first class that I taught her. I told the girls that before they were dismissed I wanted hugs. She looked at me with THE BIGGEST attitude, hand on her hip, doing the head shake and was just like, "Girl, I am NOT like that...I don't hug NOBODY!!!" So I look at her the same way, give her the SAME attitude RIGHT back and say, "You do in MY class!"
The first little while the hugs were very stiff and she wasn't very willing to give, but slowley they started happening and slowley she began opening up to me. In between her trying to act like a tough girl, she told me that she had watched all of her family get shot to death in Africa. She said the soldiers came and shot her family members one by one. Her mom, her dad and her siblings. Finally, it was just her and her little sister left alive. She remembers her little sister crying out to their dead mom, "Mommy, Mommy! Mommy!" Then they just shot her little sister to silence her. But somehow, they left her alive. Now she is here and the family she is living with is actually her mom's mom and the rest of her mom's siblings.
After hearing that, I just can't help but have a little more patience with her. About a month ago, I saw her for the first time, with tears streaming down her face at the alter. She hasn't recieved the Holy Ghost yet, BUT I know it is coming!!! NOW, when she gets to church, she comes running over to me AND body slams me with a GIANT HUG!!! When it is time to go home she is like, "Oh Mary, I NEED a hug before I leave!" When she said that I realized...WOW! This girl has CHANGED! NO, she's NOT an angel, FAR FROM IT!! ;) But she IS changing!
I believe that LOVE makes a difference. That girl tells me all the time how much she loves me and I don't believe that it is becaue she is in awe of me or because of anything, except that SHE KNOWS that I love her! I always pray, God give me your love. Let the words from my mouth and my actions be more than just things I do, let them feel YOUR love through me. When you really, truley love someone, they KNOW, because they can feel it! I think that as humans, that is why we love God. It's not just because of his awesomeness. It's not just because of the beautiful things that he created or that he is in control of everthing. If he had done all that, but didn't love us, none of that stuff would really even matter. None of that stuff could cause US to love God. BUT...
We love him,
because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19