I had heard a little about Mark Labberton, but had never heard him or met him. He was a thoughtful speaker with some good insights to share.
Early on in the talk he shared the story of Max DuPree and his little granddaughter Zoey. It is also a part of THIS INTERVIEW. In the talk he shares about how Max, who was at a loss on how to help his premature grandchild, was instructed by the nurses to stroke and talk to the baby. In other words, the baby needed voice and touch. He went on to go through Matthew 8, immediately following the Sermon on the Mount, and showed how Jesus offers voice and touch to bring healing. This was a great story, and even more than that a profound insight. It instructs us that people need voice and touch even today.
He also shared an article from the County of Los Angeles, who commissioned a study of what made foster parents successful. At the top of the list of common characteristics were people of faith that seemed "called to this" and were honest, loving, and passionate about what they were doing. Again, the gospel becomes powerful and meaningful through a witness of voice and touch.
First of all, there are a couple of great stories to integrate into my teaching and messages.
Second, this value of voice and touch helps me think about and set priorities.
Third, it further challenges me to think even more deeply about whether we are a family are called to foster care.