I had a TV show going in the back ground last night. Bad habit for me having to have something going in the background when I’m in the house…as if my two boys own personal UFC match and our living room serving as the octagon isn’t enough. Anyway to get to the point, here’s what I heard, “That’s a human being in there!” I wasn’t tuned into the Sci-Fi channel so they weren’t ruling out an alien encounter or something. This lady was making the point that the person she was addressing wasn’t treating the other individual like a human.
The words caught my attention because I had just read a blog earlier in the day that asked the question, “Are we seeing people as just human beings or as souls?” Whoa! Now that’s cutting deep, right? Was the blogger saying go farther than just “playing nice” and showing respect to others? ABSOLUTELY!
So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! - 2 Corinthians 5:16 (New Living Translation)
Since I finally opened my eyes to what God wants for me I’ve asked Him to put me in uncomfortable situations that will give me the opportunity to share my faith. That's a dangerous prayer for me considering my personality. You know something though; He doesn’t send you an RSVP with the date, time and place! The nerve of that guy thinking He’s the ruler of the universe or something! Thinking He can answer my prayer at a gas station in Jackson, MS while my cramped, exhausted, full bladdered family is working on a 14 hour drive coming back home from vacation. Come on God! I’ve been on the road since 4 am and possess a degree of coffee breath that would strip paint. But that’s what He did and I think I had my opportunity and blew it!!
I was filling up with gas and as I turned around this dude is my grill and he say’s, “Hey man you got a couple bucks I can have for gas. My car is done. I’m trying to get home to Monroe, LA but if you could just get me across town I would appreciate it.” Now, let’s set the record straight, I no longer judge people’s heart for the Lord based on looks. (HUGE pet peeve of mine, for another day) But I will tell you that this guy at the least was having a hard time with life that day and getting the car he was in to Monroe, LA was going to be a chore. But I did the “human” thing and gave him $6, thinking, ah, he wants a couple bucks I’ll give him enough to get him across town then some. Yeah me! At the time I felt I had done a good thing. People treating people like humans.
But as I got down the road it bothered me. I didn’t know why. But it did. Then it hit me on a couple levels.
One, I think I missed an opportunity to minister and didn't realize it until just then. Instead of giving him a few dollars and allowing him to be on his merry way why didn’t I just go over there and stand with the guy and fill his car all the way up. What conversation could we have started during that time? “Man why are you doing this for me?” Something like that could have allowed the door to open to let him know that he’s loved by a total stranger. He’s a SOUL, not just a human being? I love you dude because Jesus loves you. Or maybe he already knows that and just needed a Christian brother there to reaffirm that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ and we do exist outside the walls of a building we meet in once a week.
The other thing that disturbed me was how often do we do that to Souls? Like giving the guy just a few bucks in gas and not enough to get him home. How often do we give someone just enough love of Jesus to get them going but never enough to get them Home? And you know what I mean by home. Not this bump in the road we call earth. I am talking enough love to get them to that fried apricot stand in the sky we know as heaven. This is still stirring in me so I’m going to ponder it for a while longer. You ponder it as well. Comment if you’d like.
I’m going to stop with a closing I read from a book I finished this week. (By the way I read this book in record time. Those of you that know me know that I am a horribly slow reader. But I read a 190 page book in less than two weeks! Who cares if it had 18 font, half page illustrations and 3 inch margins… I READ 190 PAGES IN LESS THAN 6 MONTHS!) Anyway if any of this post resonated with you then this part of an old Franciscan benediction will jack you up!!
“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain in to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.”
I know you think it’s not a stretch, but I WANT TO BE BLESSED WITH FOOLISHNESS!!