Unconditional is unconditional

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 16, 2019

By John Warren


I worked for a florist in Houston during Valentine’s Day.  

I would get off work at 4:30 p.m. and pick up a load of flowers and deliver until 9 p.m.  

This was before the creation of GPS all I had was a Key Map.  

I would of gotten finished earlier if I hadn’t locked myself out of the car with the motor running when I stopped for a bathroom break.  

I had to leave the air-conditioner on to keep the flowers from wilting and I had to lock the door so no one would steal the car!  

It is funny now.  

I think my marriage has turned a page.  

My wife informed me instead of flowers she would rather I cook dinner.  I find that more romantic, as long as I do not make us sick!   

I often say that I would of proposed to Sandra 15 years earlier if she had only cooked a meal!  I drove all the way to Houston on a messy, rainy night for her to cook.  

I didn’t know it was sort of an ultimatum meal connected to one of those conversations, you women like to have that start with the question, “Where are we going from here?” 

I thought I was just coming for dinner, I didn’t know I was coming to a “come to Jesus party.”  

Shrimp scampi just turned from a great meal to a buttering up before lowering to boom.  And somewhere in my response I muttered if I were to get married she would be the first to know.  I didn’t mean for this to get so personal!  

Our church is changing and debating and challenging one another on how to minister to a diverse group of people in love.  

I am praying for our church and I am moved by something I read and I do not know who said it but it is very close to what Jesus would say. 

It reads:  “We will never be moving on to Christian perfection until we stop spending our time arguing over who to exclude from Grace …”  

Please read the scripture below and tell me who we are to exclude from Jesus love and his grace.  I can’t find a single person, we are all created in his image and not a last one of us is worthy we all need his grace.  Unconditional maybe beyond our human ability, but with God’s grace, I hope we can find our way to it because it is God’s way.  


“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35


John Warren is Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church, 502 North 6th Street in Orange.