As we travel across the country leading worship we get to see and do some exciting things. One of our favorite things to do is take some family time and find points of interest along our route. One of the things we have discovered that we love to experience is Presidential Libraries. We all enjoy getting a peek into history and learning more about the people who have lead our country, and the person in our family who loves it the most is Gabi! She enjoys finding out about the presidents family and what their favorite food was and why they wanted to become president. It is as wonderful experience for all of us!
Recently we had the privilege of visiting the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and it was fascinating! Michelle and I did not know much about Nixon other than the Watergate scandal, and even that we weren't too familiar with! As we “walked through history” we learned all about President Nixon, his family and how he grew up and were also able to tour his boyhood home! Just a few steps away from his family's home is his gravesite. He and his wife, Patricia, are buried right there on the grounds. We paused for a few moments to reflect and honor President and Mrs. Nixon when I noticed the epitaph on Mrs. Nixon's gravestone. It reads... "Even when people can't speak your language, they can tell if you have love in your heart."
I cannot say for certain if Mrs. Nixon was a Christ Follower, but we did learn on the tour that she had an incredible heart for people and love experiencing different countries and cultures. One thing she obviously understood was that people have a strong desire to be loved.
In my opinion, the phrase on her gravestone speaks to the very heart of Christianity. We can see this same idea in Paul's letter to the Corinthians where he says in 1 Corinthians 13 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.”
Paul goes on to tell us that love is patient and kind, it is not self seeking, proud or boastful. That love rejoices in the truth and always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres. He finishes up chapter 13 telling us, “Now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
There is another quote that Mrs. Nixon's epitaph reminds me of from St. Francis of Assisi. He said “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” I believe that Mrs. Nixon understood this idea and that she was a wonderful example of how we can express love, God's love, to everyone. Express His love to people who may be different than us, have different values than us, a different ideas than us, or who may even speak a different language than us.
You see God's love isn't earned, it is a free gift, and we are called to share that gift with everyone!
I hope you will be inspired by Mrs. Nixon like I have been. I want to challenge you (and me) to let God's love shine though you this week so that everyone you come in contact with will be able to “Tell that you have love, God's love, in your heart.”
Thanks for hanging out with me today! I would love to hear your thoughts! Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page!