Monica Barlow is a missionary living in Gimbie, Ethiopia. She and her husband Scott, who is a nurse working at the Adventist hospital there, have huge hearts for orphaned and homeless children. Monica often soldiers without her husband at her side as he frequently returns to the U.S. to earn enough money to keep them going another year. She shared the following paraphrase of 1 Corinthians 13...
My Love Chapter
1 Corinthians 13 in MBV (Monica Barlow Version)
(You might want to read an original version of this in your Bible first)
If I speak fluently in Amharic or Afaan Oromo, but have not love, I sound like the guy chanting on the loud speaker at 5:00 every morning (when the power is on).
If I can explain Daniel and Revelations and lead a successful evangelistic series (televised around the world), and I understand all cultural differences and can quote all of the Spirit of Prophecy, and if I even have the faith that can jumpstart the old green pickup truck, but have not love, I am worthless.
If I give everything (money, clothes, etc) to the poor and even withstand Admin Committee meetings (these are similar to being burned at the stake), but still I don’t have love, I’ve gotten nowhere.
I am not patient (far from it); I am not always kind.
I envy those who don’t have to get as involved with projects as much as I do.
I don’t usually boast, but I can be proud (doesn’t everyone need some respect?).
When cornered, I have been known to be rude.
I am not usually self-seeking (but don’t eat all the chocolate chips), and unfortunately when I haven’t had much sleep I can be easily angered, and (I can’t help myself) I can remember all the wrongs done to me since 1972 (second grade).
I don’t enjoy watching people hurt themselves, but I love when someone is truthful, even if it will hurt my feelings.
I always protect the underdog.
I try to trust (unless you’ve duped me before).
I easily lose sight of my hope, but persevere because I feel responsible and can’t give up (that would be like getting a B-, and only A’s will do).
God never fails me.
One day there will be no sermons, no struggling to learn the native language, and understanding will reach its limit.
For now, I only can see the smallest piece of the puzzle around me and I don’t really understand very much about God. But one day, He will come and finish my puzzle and answer all my questions.
When I was new at this Christianity thing, I spoke with ignorance, I thought of ignorant ideas, I even rationalized that I knew what was going on around me.
But now that God has opened my eyes to what really matters, I no longer want to entertain those past ideas or thoughts.
The first week I arrived here, I broke my glasses. Ever since, I have been using Alicia’s (almost a year and a half), and they are not my prescription. So, I have not seen things very clearly. But one day, I will see things that no spectacles can clear up. Only looking through the eyes of God will I be able to see Him for who He really is.
But for now, until Christ returns and all truth is revealed, I know that I must trust God completely, hope without ceasing, and love extravagantly. But most of all, I need to love extravagantly, so that my mission here will have purpose, be worthwhile, and make a difference.
Be sure to read a few of the other posts we've featured by Monica:
Helping the Poor and Needy
A Street Kid to Desire
Street Kids part 2
Old Woman in the Shoe
Don't you love Monica's insight, her honesty and her example of service to Christ and His children? (Don't tell her but Joy is taking her some Oreos, some Hershey chocolate and a packet of Miracle-Gro.) What would you wish for if you were living there??