We awakened the day after Christmas where all the excitement and unopened packages had  given way to new toys and clothes piled a bit haphazardly under the tree.

My family ventured out amidst the shoppers looking for rock bottom prices (winter coats are cheap here since we've not really had winter yet) and those looking to make returns.  We found a game for our son's new gaming system and looked for an associate to help us.  A young man (wearing the store's signature blue vest) stood intently in front of another case appearing to be looking for something.  My husband approached him "excuse me, sir?"  The young man looked up, annoyed to be interrupted. "Could you get a game out for us?" He fished for his key and retrieved the game. Another associate hollered over "can you take care of this man when you are done?" Annoyed associate grumbled something and told him just a moment. We walked to the cash register and I could sense a hurting soul.
As I stood there with my husband and my son, this man would not make eye contact or small talk, I noticed his fingernails were long and shaped into sharp looking points. He hurriedly grabbed the ringing telephone as he finished our transaction and we didn't get to say thank you. Well, we tried to but, the lack of eye contact didn't play into our favor.

As we walked out of the busy superstore past the lines of carts full of gift wrap and half off Christmas decor, my heart was hurting for that young man.
My son started to ask about him and the hubs quietly said "let's talk about this in a minute when we get to the car."  I kept thinking of the hurt written all over his face and I wanted to go back into the busy store and find him. I wanted to tell him whether he believed it or not, he is loved.

The car ride home opened up a huge discussion with our son. It was a discussion about loving our neighbors. Loving them when everyone else is looking down their noses and judging them for the way they look and how they live their lives.  Some folks have been dealt a bad hand and they are used to ostracism. They become callous to so called "Christians" that are quick to judge on looks alone.
The hubs brought up the story in the book of Matthew where Jesus was always having dinner and hanging out with the tax collectors and the prostitutes. The Pharisees (like some Christians today) asked "UGH, Why would he hang out with THOSE people?".
When Jesus heard them he was like "you don't go to the doctor when you're well!" I often wonder if he utilized a bit of sarcasm here.

While Jesus was having a meal in Matthew's house, many tax collectors and other outcasts came and joined Jesus and his disciples at the table. Some Pharisees saw this and asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such people?”  Jesus heard them and answered, “People who are well do not need a doctor, but only those who are sick.  Go and find out what is meant by the scripture that says: ‘It is kindness that I want, not animal sacrifices.’ I have not come to call respectable people, but outcasts.”
Matthew 9:10-13 GNB
Yes, it's easy to look the other way. It's also easy to prejudge a book by it's cover but, that's where we as Christians need to reevaluate.  Jesus sought people out that everyone else stayed away from. He brought the light TO them.  Now, it's our turn! Shine bright my friends. Smile, offer a kind word, turn a few pages and you might find a diamond in the rough.

The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’
Matthew 22:39 GNB
Linking with The Faith Barista's #onewordcoffee

One Comment

  1. Yes, may we love like Jesus does! Thank you, Krista, for reminding us to open our eyes and hearts to the people who are hiding hurts.