I wrote this over a year ago...
Lately, I've been praying a prayer that goes something like this, "God, send me to the unlovely. Send me to the least loved, I will go and love them. I will be Jesus to them."
Yesterday, as I walked to work, the Spirit of God was stirring in my heart. I could tell God was preparing my heart for something but I didn't know what.
About ten minutes after we opened the store, a man came in. He looked at us and started sobbing. His daughter had committed suicide the night before. He wept for a half hour and continually cried, "I want to see my child. I want to see her again. Just one more time."
Then his story came spilling out. A horrid childhood and a life of crime as a gang member of Hell's Angels. An alcoholic to drown out the pain that rings in his ears of the years of committing murder and other acts of violence. It made him a bad father, he said. I wasn't a good father and I couldn't help her, he said. I'm worth nothing, he said.
I told him about Jesus and His love for him. And he said, "I keep hearing that. Everywhere I go."
So we had a discussion about how God gets our attention. He chases us down, He is not content until we know His incredible love for us.
His love ruins us to what would seem like the pleasures of this life. Those things taste chalky and dry compared to His love. His overwhelming love. His perfect love. I can't fathom it, I can only ask for more of it. More of it to have...to give away.
After this man left the store, I hid in the employee lounge for a few moments and fell on my face before God. I was overwhelmed with God's heart for this man. And I heard Him ask me, "Are you still willing to love those who others reject?"
I thought for a moment. This man was drunk, in despair, rambling, smelly, snot-covered and tried to hug me twice inappropriately. I, myself, didn't want to stand and cry with him. I wanted to walk away.
But then God's heart of love for this man overwhelmed me. And I had to stay. I had to tell him that he was loved. That forgiveness of all the sins that play over in his head every night was available to him.
"Am I willing to love those who others reject?"
I am. And I know that I cannot do it in my own strength but He can love through me.
How about you? Are you willing to love the broken? Are you willing to lay yourself aside for the things that are dear to God's heart?