Read His Words Before Ours!
A couple of years ago, our community group was challenged to go beyond our comfort zone and engage with those who lived on the streets of Kansas City. Those who made their dwelling places under bridges, behind abandoned warehouses, and in the hidden corners of forgotten parks. As children usually are known for doing, our kids went “all in”. We prepared meals together as a group and piled into the car, eager to find a lonely friend who needed a hot meal. From the backseat, the kids begged to be “next” to pass a bag of food, new gloves, or a warm blanket through the car window.
We coached our kids to not label those we would meet as “homeless”, but rather to see them as people, just like us, who needed love. We practiced looking into a person’s eyes when we talked to them and encouraged our kids to ask the other person’s name.
The experience was profound for each of us.
Our children led the way in their excitement and the way they had conversations in reaching out to these people who looked and lived nothing like them.
They were each thrilled to hold out their hand to another.
The impact was so far-reaching that even now, 2 years removed, they will still randomly ask to buy extra “day old bread” at a local sandwich shop so we can trek downtown and give someone lunch. They do the same with water bottles, extra blankets they find, cookies they bake, or even portions of their meals. The transformation was more than I’d hoped for and was deeply convicting for me and my own view of people.
Superiority is ugly.
But it shows up, slithering in, when we least expect it.
And it’s rooted in our hearts when we choose to ignore the truth that
we are each created in the image of God.
That solid truth levels the playing field when it comes to how we see people.
I remember sitting on a counselor’s couch painfully recounting how I couldn’t bear to see myself on the same playing field as my father, at whose hands I had suffered so much emotional damage. She responded with words I’ll never forget,
“I would put to you that, before the Lord God, we are all on the same playing field.”
She was so right.
The aging woman who still holds the scars in her heart of the child she aborted.
We are equal.
The white mama raising bi-racial children in a society that doesn’t favor them.
We are equal.
The grown boy whose mental deficiencies make most turn their heads away.
We are equal.
These are the ones, we are the ones, created in the image of God.
And we mirror Him best when we love others
Just As We Are Loved!
I’m reminded of James’ words in James 3:10-11.
Can both fresh and salt water flow from the same spring?
He was speaking of our tongue.
How we cannot, with integrity, curse our brother and worship our Savior with the same mouth.
With the same heart that loves Jesus and the same lips that teaches salvation, we cannot only use those arms to reach out in friendship to those whose skin color matches our own.
Equality and Inequality cannot both reside in the heart of the believer!
A Greater and Lesser view when it comes to how we see people cannot co-exist!
It short-changes the God who sent His only Son to be the Savior of the world.
When we choose to stay quiet about racism, ignore other races, or be engaged only with those who act like, look like, and live like us,
we intentionally step out of sync with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When we choose fear of others over compassion for their souls, we’ve placed our judgement of ourselves higher than the Lord’s.
We’ve superseded another human being who was crafted from the same God who knit us together by His own hands.
See the color, my friends.
See the diversity.
See the Korean, the Japanese, the African, the Latino, the Indian, the Caucasian….
and link arms in praise to a creative God who has crafted each of us in His own image!
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!