A Bishop, who worked in a slum area, narrated a story that a Sunday School Teacher brought together the poor children of that area, spoke to them of the love of God. He found that their clothes were dirty, tattered and torn. He said to them: “I shall get for you new clothes. You must wear them every Sunday morning as you come to attend the class.”
Every body received a beautiful pair of clothes. On the following Sunday, he found that one of the boys was missing. He made inquiries and was told that the boy was a gambler; he had sold the new clothes and used the money for gambling.
The teacher went out in quest of the boy, found him, and got him another pair of clothes. The boy attended the Sunday Class for the next two or three weeks, but again disappeared. The teacher found that the boy had once again sold his clothes and gambled away the money.
Yet again, the teacher went up to the boy, met him in love, spoke to him with tenderness. He said to him “Forget what has happened. Take these new clothes, and be regular in your attendance at the Sunday Class.” This was repeated thirteen times. The boy sold the clothes, but the teacher’s patience was not exhausted. His love was boundless, unquestioning, unconditional, it demanded no explanation, it needed no apology. A transformation was wrought. The boy turned over a new leaf. The Bishop concluded his lecture with the words “I know this is true, because I was the boy!”
It is love which reclaims. It is love which transforms. Sermons or lectures do not touch the hearts of the people; the power of love does.