Sep 26 5 Comments

What does Jesus taste like?

One of the many things I am learning (the hard way) is that Jesus so often speak in the places I didn’t expect it, and then he is remarkably silent in the places I thought he would say something. Today Jesus moved me to tears. By speaking through a Karen young woman and a couple I have just met.

Naw Doh stood in front of the Karen congregation in Arvada, Colorado and spoke into a mike. “Nobody has loved us like you have,” she said and looked at Kirsten and Paul who were sitting on two chairs in front of her. “Other people say they love us, but you are the ones who have sowed us love. You are the ones we can call, and wherever you are you will pick up the phone and talk to us. You will always come and help us with so many things.”

These people can love so it shows

Solemnly and beautifully the Karen elders, dressed in their finest costumes, stood up and walked over to Kirsten and Paul. They kneeled down in front of them and put a handmade garland around their necks. A symbol of honor and love. Then they gave them an envelope, a love offering from a group of people who love them. “We would like to go back to our country and help our people, but we cannot,” they said. “Therefore we want to give you this gift, to help you with the work you are going to do.”

I had to wipe my eyes. In front of me were two brave people, Kirsten and Paul, who in a few days will get on an airplane and move to Thailand to join Partners. Soon they will be living with the Shan people, sharing their lives with them, and helping them in many ways. I am pretty certain that Paul and Kirsten will do fine. The people in the room were the evidence of that. They have already been loving people in action here in their own hometown. They have helped deliver babies and fill in forms, they have had dozens over for dinner, and helped find jobs in a place where jobs are scarce.

“Other people have said they have loved us, but nobody has showed us love like you have.”

How easy it is to throw out a “love you,” and leave it at that. How easy to say things, but how hard to do them. Jesus’ love, I was reminded today, is the kind of love that you can see, smell, taste and touch. You can eat it, you can sleep on it, you can speak to it, you can hug it, you can call it, you can visit it. Jesus’ love is not a noun. It is a verb.

Not only did the Karen give a love offering to Kirsten and Paul, they gave one to Partners too. This is a gift from people who barely make ends meet, but who also know how to show love.


  • Rick says:

    How exciting! What a beautiful moment!.

  • stevegumaer says:

    Right on Oddny. Tell it like it is. Cry because it’s real. Love because it’s right.

  • Maureen says:

    It was so beautiful! I thought about what honor really means and how the Karen have taught me the true definition.

  • Mike says:

    Hi Oddny,
    I am praying for the Shan people of Burma, is there anything in particular I could pray for Paul and Kirsten? It is fantastic that people are going to do this important and difficult work, blessed be God!

    • oddnygumaer says:

      Mike, Thanks for your kind comment. And thanks for praying for the Shan. I am sure there are lots of things you could pray for for Paul and Kirsten. It will take a while for them to settle. Right now there isn’t a house for them. Pray for sensitivity to the people and the culture.