Jesus Loves the Person You Can’t Stand

I am attending the Bella Conference, Fresh Colors this weekend…so you’ll have to read this oldy but goody! This is one of my all-time favorites…

Photo courtesy of Alex Proimos

Maybe the person is at work, or at school. Maybe you dislike an entire portion of society, ie. the smelly guy on the bus. Or maybe, and this is the worst of them all, you live with someone you don’t like! Whatever the case, it’s startling how often I hear “Christians” say they hate someone, or dislike a family member. Even more often that this, I see Christians ignore entire portions of their own world. They conveniently ignore the bum on the corner of State and Lake Streets. They sit as far away as possible from the smelly man on the bus. They look upon the scantily dressed young woman, whom they suspect to be a harlot, with disgust. They try with all their might to get out of serving in the nursery when their turn comes up, because they, “just don’t do diapers.” I know, I am ashamed to say, I’ve done all of the above.

Have you ever stopped to ask the bum his story? Whether it’s a true story or not, it’s sure to be interesting and will show a window into his soul. Have you ever thought that maybe the smelly guy is homeless and hasn’t had a shower because he has no bathroom except McDonald’s? Did you ever consider that perhaps the young woman you are so quick to judge may have run away from a sexually abusive father and had no where to turn?

My writing mentor, Madeleine L’Engle said this:

“If Jesus came today, would we be any braver, any more open, any more willing to give ourselves to his love, than were those who cried out, ‘Crucify him! Crucify him!’? Would we be any more willing today to allow him to love all kinds of people, even those we don’t much care about?
That, of course, was part of the problem–Jesus’ friends. They were not the right people. He went to the wrong dinner parties (his first miracle took place at a big party). He loved children, and let them climb all over him with their sticky little hands and dirty little feet.”

If Jesus reached out to these “untouchables” in our society who are we to ignore them? Who are we to define them as untouchable?

Every once in a while, my Salvation Army roots leak out. General William Booth said,

“Look for yourselves. The surging sea of life crowded with perishing souls rolls up to the very spot on which you stand. Leaving the vision, I now come to speak of the fact – fact that is real as the Bible; as real as the Christ who hung upon the cross! as real as the Judgment Day will be, and as real as the Heaven and Hell that will follow it.

Look! Don’t be deluded by appearances -men and things are not what they seem. All who are not on the rock are in the sea. Look at them from the standpoint of the Great White Throne, and what a sight you have! Jesus Christ, the Son of God; is in the midst of this dying multitude, struggling to save them. And He is calling on YOU to jump into the sea – to go right away to His side, and help Him in the holy strife.

Will you jump? That is, will you go to His feet, and place yourself absolutely at His disposal? My comrades, you are rescued from the waters; you are on the rock. He is in the dark sea, calling on you to come to Him and help Him. Will you go?”

Here is my favorite Keith Green song ever. Please listen. Someone’s life depends on it.

37 thoughts on “Jesus Loves the Person You Can’t Stand

    • I wept to hear Keith again as well…and then to add the painting done to illustrate William Booth’s famous sermon, and some of his words as well….it put me over the top. πŸ™‚ The credit really goes to the youth who made the video…Good job guys!

  1. I often wonder what would be the outcome of the Church looking upon every precious soul we come into contact with “Our Father’s Eyes”. Thanks for the post….

    • I’m a huge fan of M.L.E. Did you know that she has several books for women? Her theology books are also thought provoking and, well what can I say other than they are so Madeleine? I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  2. Something we all need to keep in mind. πŸ™‚

    I will be honest: hearing heart-breaking story after heart-breaking story is a task. I love helping those who want to change. It’s the ones who are happy in their misery that frustrate me more than anything else.

  3. Yes, I’m jumping in. I have run a blanket ministry for the homeless in our community the last two years and GOd has grown it so much! I’ve been praying about going to the homeless and asking if I could interview them, give them a voice, share their story with the world. I would like to write a book of their stories and have been praying if this is from God or just me. You are the third person I have read today that has said this same thing. Your last question in the post, Will you go? gave me goosebumps. I think I’m going to go! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve been really working on seeing people with the eyes of Jesus instead of my own. It’s such a conscious decision — I hate how easily I slip back into seeing with my imperfect eyes and heart.

  5. Oh, this is a big one on my heart. I have tried to instill and continue to instill within my kids not to talk the talk but to walk the walk. It isn’t always easy…there are sacrifices and we often get dirty and smelly and uncomfortable but….there by the grace of God go we!

    Glory to Glory! It’s a journey and my heart’s cry is to engage in a love war. Radical love!

  6. Brilliant. We must be doers of the Word, not just hearers. I like it when you quote Madeleine. You studied under her? (I have to remind myself of that) Wow! It shows. Your post is divine appointment for me because God is trying to hammer these ideas into me. I recommend to you and your readers, Kimmie, “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson. Jumping into the raging sea is an adventure – one that you will take with the Holy Spirit! God bless you on your swim!

    • Thanks for the book suggestion! As for Madeleine, I’ve only studied under her the way all of us can, by reading everything she’s ever written. I use the word mentor perhaps too loosely, but perhaps not. We can be tutored under anyone we choose, when we have access to a library card. πŸ˜€ Just keep swimming…

  7. You hit the nail on the head and challenged us all at the same time. We’ve all done something like that … and yes … those are the ones Jesus wants us to learn to love.

  8. Journey,
    Many thanks for the kind words.I consider myself more of a thinker than an intellect – but at least I bounce around topics, thus flexible. πŸ™‚ My the way … in terms of the dual posts about Rons – I would say I’m about 3/4 done … could go next week, but, nonetheless, will hold until you are ready … after all, we need to post the same day and ref each other. πŸ™‚

  9. Reblogged this on Journey Towards Epiphany and commented:

    I am attending the Bella Conference this weekend, so I thought that it would be a good time to repost something. This is one of my all-time favorites, and I think that you’ll be able to see why very soon, as I have a very important announcement to make.

  10. Pingback: Jesus Loves the Person You Can’t Stand | Journey Towards Epiphany

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s