I am not much on email forwards. You know – those “if you send this to at least ten people from your contact list, you will receive the biggest blessing of your life in 10 hours” kind of emails. So silly. Even some of the so-called “religious” or “spiritual” emails are ridiculous, MOST of the time. I’ve come across a few that I really liked. I got this one just yesterday, and it is probably my favorite. I just had to share!
Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those that are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Now that is something Brittani needed to hear. How about you? So often I find myself entirely wrapped up in my wants, my desires, my needs, my worries, my fears, my cares, my EVERYTHING. (Notice a reoccurring word in there anywhere?) How self-centered and just plain WRONG. There is an entire world of people out there – both Christians and not – who are hurting. They are scared. They are just as busy as I am – some even more, no doubt. My “problems” pale in comparison to so many; yet, I still will often yell in my car when someone pulls out in front of me, think rude thoughts when I see a “freak” at the mall, look the other way when I see someone begging for money, and become disgusted with people who are in my way.
I don’t write this hoping to make people feel bad about themselves. I write it simply so that all of us will take a good look at our lives and see that we can all do better. As the email said, Love is the greatest gift. We had a perfect example of true love in Jesus Christ. He DIED for us. The least we can do is LIVE for HIM. And living for Him means loving ALL – regardless of skin color, social status, age, and yes – even religious affiliation, standards, sexual orientation and anything else you can think of. Do we agree with everyone on everything? NO. Absolutely not, in fact. As an example, let’s take homosexuality. It is a blatant sin against God. I hate it. It is disgusting. But those who are involved in it need Christ. They need to be loved. What is that phrase we’ve all heard so often? “Hate the sin; love the sinner.” It’s time we walk the walk, instead of talking the talk alone.
Help me, Lord, to love everyone I come into contact with. I may not love the things they do or say, but I need your help to love their soul. In Jesus’ name…Amen.