“That’s DISGUSTING!!!”Lots of people have this reaction when they begin to hear about the daily living of a sex worker in third world countries. I’m in Cambodia this week with our annual Saving Moses team trip & our nightcare work here (feel free to come w me next year).I love to watch God change various perspectives about people & various hardships / experiences these women go through to say nothing about their babies & toddlers.On a more immediate context, maybe you know people who are making bad decisions, going down an awful trajectory or compromising in unthinkable ways.
Do we choose to revile or reconcile?
Regardless of the decisions people make, we can shame & revile them or walk alongside & reconcile them. Jesus is a great example of reconciling rather than reviling 🙂
We are quick to love stuff that’s easy: people who are nice to us, soft blankets, space heaters in Winter, chocolate, snowboarding, etc. But when we see people who different, let’s pre-decide to be loving. For example, you might prefer a more polished or professional appearance and thereby find the people with the same image easier to love. Or maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe you’re less polished and only match or when there’s a solar eclipse. So maybe you find it easier to love people who have a more “eclectic” approach to their image or style.
And I’d say for all of us, it’s much easier to love people who are kind, respectful and gracious. Those individuals who are sullen, grumpy, surly & even combative can be tricky to navigate. So let’s not make Valentine’s Day a once a year holiday to celebrate love. Let’s decide that everyday is our day to love, because we are loving people, regardless of who the recipient may be!
Whenever my kids tell me, “Mom, don’t feel out when I tell you this, . . . ” I brace myself for what comes next. Sometimes it’s something easy, like “I forgot to tell you about a school assignment.” At other times, they spring something on me that’s more robust or unsettling. Whenever we have one of those “freak out” conversations, it always helps me to remember that nothing makes God freak out.
Indeed, God is never shocked nor chased away by us, our struggles or questions. And in full truth, God’s love continues to pursue us, even when we give up on ourselves. Be encouraged! You will never freak God out!
On my flight from Taiwan yesterday, my seat mate who didn’t speak any English, started puking after we landed in Los Angeles. She filled up her first bag, pronto & I quietly slipped her my bag, trying not to squirm out of my skin. Truth be known, I was super sympathetic because of an AWFUL experience I had earlier this year on a flight out of Africa.
It seems to me that it’s much easier to be sympathetic when we’ve walked a similar road. I could’ve easily chosen to be repelled & revolted by this lady’s condition or I could choose to do my best to help her.
What I thoroughly love about Jesus is that He chose to come into the human experience & walk among us, passing out puke bags & more importantly healing our broken condition. Let’s actively choose to be compassionate & helpful rather than revolted & repelled with the people around us 🙂
If you’re like me, we want to run away from revolting smells, we want great distance from troublesome people, we want to keep our space from difficult situations & too much garlic can repel more things than just people ,)
One of the things I so desperately love about Jesus is that He isn’t repelled by us, never. When everyone leaves us, Jesus runs to us. When we retreat & repel people out of dysfunction & hurt, Jesus runs to us.
When we’ve failed & want to hide, Jesus runs to us.
When we want to run away from broken people, Jesus runs to them.
I’m so thankful that Jesus consistently does the opposite of what seems to be human instincts. Jesus runs to us
Jesus runs to help the babies of prostitutes with nightcare through Saving Moses. Jesus runs to us, no matter what we’ve done or not & regardless of the situation in which we find ourselves. Jesus runs to us for the clean & simple reason that Jesus loves us, full stop.
We get to work with a really cool team of people & Tues mornings we make some time, as a team, to connect with God. This morning, we did an exercise around the definition of love in 1 Cor 13: love is & love is not. One of the things that is continuing to linger with me after this exercise is that love isn’t arrogant. I’ve been thinking about this idea & here are a few things for your consideration:
love connects but arrogance repels
arrogance is an exalted but erroneous perception of self