By: Andy Deskin
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35 NIV
It is easy to dismiss someone or something that has hurt or threatens us. Growing up I walked to elementary school (only two blocks). Every day I had to walk past the corner lot with the big loud dog that loved to chase me and nip at my heels as I hurried past. To this day I am not a big fan of dogs. We all have things that have threatened us – -loss of job, loss of loved ones, divorce and even just a snub by someone we thought we respected. Loving those that threaten us is hard work. Thankfully God gave us the example for us to follow. Jesus loved those that were hard to love. The tax collector, the woman at the well, the Gentile, the homeless, the poor… the last, the lost, and the least.
When you have things going your way it is easy to remain in your own little bubble. I take for granted the ability to eat, exercise, go to a concert and take a nice vacation. God wants us to enjoy God’s creation and God wants us to share the abundant love provided. I realized this past Christmas, really for the first time, what it is like to be dependent on someone else to make it day to day. Back pain and subsequently back surgery can lay you low. It can make you one of those “hard to love.” The support of friends from Oak Hill UMC and my sons made me realize how fortunate I am. Many suffer from back pain and many don’t have the support. Small acts of kindness are where we all encounter the Living Christ.
God, help me honor those around me by saying yes to living truthfully and with integrity, not objectifying others but regarding each as your precious child. Amen.
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