Can't Stop Thinking ...

that Christians miss opportunity after opportunity to truly love people. Our move into suburbia has been an eye-opener and an important lesson in loving the way Christ loved.

There is Jonathan, the sweet 9-year old who roams our neighborhood from sunrise to sunset seeking friends. Our kids love hangin' with Jonathan... and he is welcome in our home at any time. Our protective boundaries have been defined; something we never had to do living in the country. Our kids understand our rules. But they still know that we are supposed to love everybody, not just the people who look, speak and act like they do. Our home is a great place for that to happen!

Then there is Melissa and Luis. They stumbled upon our place when we were moving in and asked if they could haul off the things we didn't want. Alex gave them a few things and said come back anytime. Melissa returned a few days later, wondering if we had more give-aways. Since we have a garage full of boxes and much to discard, we excitedly gave her more to cart off. She revealed a tiny bit about herself and then said good-bye.

A few days later, Melissa returned again. This time she and Luis were joined by a young man. After the task of loading our stuff into their shamble-of-a-truck was complete, Melissa told Alex the story of Luis finding the young man living by a creek, starving. They took him in. These people took him in. They don't have 2 pennies to rub together and yet they share what they have cheerfully with a stranger. What an example of Christ to us; would we ever have voluntarily done such a thing?

Yesterday, they came again. Melissa shared that they are about to lose their house. She takes the things she gets from us and sells them at a flea market to make enough to feed the three of them. Unbelievable. And yet, why do I find it unbelievable? Because I've been asleep to the needs of others... no less of a sin than the ones we as Christians currently call the 'big ones' and abhor. Seriously folks, turning a deaf ear to the needs of others is sin. Period.

I believe that Jonathan, Melissa and Luis are the start of a flood of folks that we are going to meet that will challenge us to truly love others. True love involves loving others when they have absolutely nothing of 'worldly value' to offer us in return; loving others who do not appear to be the 'ideal playmate' for our children; loving others who do not smell good, who do not look good and who may not know Jesus.

My mind cannot wrap around why God is digging so deep, changing everything in me. My heart sees a glimpse of the type of Christian we've been for many years and wants to flee from it! And despite the pain that I know is coming, I'm ready to be more of a true Christ-follower - more spiritual and less religious; more loving and less judgmental; more of Him and less of me.

We worshiped God singing this song on Sunday. I believe it is true for every city, every people and every nation! What a word of Truth; a word of Hope; a word of Love!

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