“Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ”. Philippians 2:5
I struggle with this every day. Especially when it comes to dealing with people. I tend to be like a chihuahua. I bark a lot then immediately regret it. I have been really praying that I would stop and think and pray before I speak. My husband is so opposite me. He is so social, working with the homeless population, helping them with food, rides, and jobs, always reaching out to help others. I tend to hang back. I prefer sitting home crafting and sewing than going out to socialize with others. I have been trying to extend myself and get out of my comfort zone. I am also a nurse. I can handle throw up, bleeding out, most everything but bugs. Let a patient come in with bedbugs or scabies, I want to “run for the hills”. I can get so skeeved out by the thought of bugs.
One day a church I attended was having a movie night. My husband and I decided to do a date night and go see the movie. Well the day of the movie my husband called and told me he was bringing one of the homeless guys he had been working with to see the movie. My date night was not going to be the date night I had planned. This guy my husband was bringing was one of those homeless that you can smell a mile away. His hair was sticking out everywhere, but it was the smell that really consumed you. One look at him and all I think of is the bugs that must live in that hair. All day I kept telling myself, “Love him like Jesus”. “Love him like Jesus”. When we got to church, I decided to sit in the back. That way no one at church would be disturbed. We walked in and one of the ladies there just gave him a big old bear hug. I was cringing inside and yet at the same time in awe of her that she could love so freely. He sat on the front row. Once the movie began, he started talking loudly. I kept saying to myself, “Love him like Jesus” over and over. I told my husband he had to go get him so he wouldn’t disturb anyone with his yacking. My poor husband went to get him and made him sit by us. Im still thinking, “Love him like Jesus”. The movie started. This guy precedes to comment on the movie and started swearing! IN CHURCH! I am dying. Jesus is swearing in church! Love him like Jesus, but Jesus is swearing in church! I shushed him as I cringed. I then look over and oh my word – Jesus is smoking! Jesus is smoking in church! I look at my husband and he is zoned into the movie. I finally catch my husband’s eye and he says, “What?” Cant he see what is going on? Is he deaf that he can’t hear this guy? Has he lost his sense of smell? I point to his friend and he then realizes what he is doing. He gets him and takes him outside. I start this conversation with the Lord, I tried, I really did, but smoking in church? Swearing in church? I continue watching the movie and think, ok my husband is taking this guy home so maybe we can salvage this date night. I go outside after the movie and there is my husband and “Love him like Jesus” standing beside him. My husband, oblivious to everything in my head (why can’t he see what I am thinking?). He then asked If I wanted to go get ice cream. I refused and told him to take me home. I had enough of loving for one night. The hero that hugged the guy, she later told me he hugged her and she was caught off guard and had to hug him. I am not so sure I could have pulled that off as good as she did.
My expectations were not met that night but I was so mad at myself that I failed so horribly at loving others. Why couldn’t I be the one to give this guy a bear hug? Love should be the earmark of being a Christian. Love should be the first thought that comes to someone’s mind when they think of Christians. We should treat others like Jesus. I am a work in progress and am still working on it. My goal this year is to have the mind of Christ when I see others and to love them like Jesus even if they smell, or swear in church, or even smoke in church. I know, I know that, but if it weren’t for the grace of God that could be me. I am so glad the Lord’s mercies are new every morning and He sees our estate. I am trying to have the mind of Christ so I can love others like Jesus.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40