Saturday, May 30, 2015

What if Jesus looks like Angie?


By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another- John 13:35
Seems simple enough, right?

Monday, Rex and I were sitting on our porch loving on Penelope when she walked across the street.  I had seen her the day before walking the same route with one grocery type bag and her soda.  Bolt, for the first time ever took off across the street barking at her.  I chased after him, not sure if he'd bite her or not since he hadn't left our porch before.  She stooped down to pet him while I crossed the street in my PJs to retrieve the naughty dog.  We chatted long enough for me to learn that she loves dogs, her name is Angie and she moved here from Ohio a month ago.  She doesn't drive, is afraid of background checks, the few people she knows in Roanoke aren't dependable and the hardest thing is for her to get to the grocery store.  My gut said to offer to take her to the store.  My brain said-

What if she's a drug addict
What if she takes advantage of you
What if she doesn't like background checks because she's a fugitive
What if she shows up at your door -every day
What if she won't leave you alone
What if... What if....

The eye contact was uneasy as I told her I hoped she'd be able to get to the store soon and said goodbye. 

A couple of years ago, Isaiah got really mad at me because I wouldn't give the man with the cardboard sign any money. He accused me of not caring about poor people.    I was irritated that every time I got stopped by the red light, I was having to have this conversation with a 7 year old.  Of course I care about poor people but he'd probably use my money to drink or buy drugs.  He probably doesn't need it anyway, he should get a job and work like I do. 

I worked downtown for years and was approached many times for money.  Being warned frequently for our safety, I often walked down the other side of the street to avoid them. Honestly, I was afraid of them and the what if's.

The homeless and needy wasn't my calling.  Well, not until God brought them into my arms as my sons.  That's when He started softening my heart, but not enough for me to truly love. 

I made donations to the Rescue Mission and somehow felt proud of myself that my children, who once lived there, were now safe and sound.  But interact with the homeless or EGRs (extra grace required) well that was still way out of my comfort zone.  Didn't going to their chapel service and donating some time count as "love"?

Shame, shame on me.

Jen Hatmaker, "Dear Christians, Please Stop Being Crappy", For the Love

After reading For The Love, it was clear to me that I excel in the crappy Christian role and I don't much like that about myself.   

A few weeks ago, while stopped at the light at Target that gut feeling took over and for the first time ever, I gave him what I had.  God called me to love. That's it.  It didn't matter what he did with it because it isn't my job to judge- so I pulled out all my cash, $3 which was a bit disappointing when I realized that's all I had and I handed it to him.  He blessed me and moved on working the line.  Isaiah said, "Mommy, you really do care about people" and my heart sank.  He'd been watching my actions, not my words.  What had I been teaching him?

Aren't you glad that God keeps changing

I told Rex I missed it. As soon as I sat down on my comfy porch I knew.   God literally put an opportunity right in front of  me to simply love my neighbor and I missed it.  With his encouragement  I threw my clothes on and went looking for her so I could fix it, but I didn't see her anywhere. 

Until today.  I was getting the mail and looked up the street.  I waited for her to reach my house and then called her name.  She crossed the street, sweaty and tired and said hi Robin.  I told her I was really glad to see her and that I tried to find her Monday to tell her I could give her a ride to the store.  I told her that I'd be glad to take her to the grocery store once a week.  I told her I was sorry that I thought it but didn't offer it on Monday.  We made a plan for Saturday morning. 

The what-if's still crossing my mind when another one struck me ----
What if Jesus looks like Angie?

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of worrying about the what-ifs that keep me being crappy.  I'm not called to patrol the decisions other people are making.  I just want to be love and I'm keeping it real people, that scares me a little bit because I don't know exactly what that kind of obedience looks like.  Maybe that looks like a ride to the grocery store or simply calling a lonely newcomer by name.  Maybe it looks like giving my last $3 to a man that for whatever reason is now begging for whatever he can get.  Maybe it looks like being more patient with my children and more attentive to my husband.  Maybe it looks like offering a smile and not being afraid to speak to people who by their appearance might scare me a little bit. 

Who's with me? 
Let's change the world people. 

Love is Louder! 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another- John 13:35
Seems simple enough, right?

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