I’m listening to an amazing preacher and he reminds me that Christ hung out with sinners and outcast because they needed ministering to. He went on to say how easy it is for us to hang out with those “good” Christian’s but we must show Christ’s love to those we have a difficult time dealing with, or the unlovely. It’s so true. It’s easy to love a nice person, not so easy to love the person who spreads rumors about you or has stabbed you in the back for the hundredth time, or the dirty smelly homeless man who wants money to buy booze.
I decide I will take the challenge and try harder to show Christ to the unlovely, to those who are difficult to love. Little did I know Jesus would quickly test me on this.
Not thirty minutes later I head to dinner and out to a restaurant. I get in a long line at the restaurant waiting to order and I notice out of the three registers there are girls on the two outside registers and one boy on the middle register, a boy who had previously gaged ears.
A small nose piercing doesn’t bother me, I may even go as far to say that I’ve seen an eyebrow ring on a guy that looked okay, belly button rings, why not, but gages, really? And this boy didn’t even have gaged ears, his were previously gaged ears, his earlobes had huge holes in them where gages had been and they dangled and flapped, they were pretty gross. I look and immediately think, yuck, how could someone do that to themselves, maybe one of the girls will take my order.
It was my turn to order and guess who’s register is open. Yes, the boys with the dangling ungaged ears. I offer to have someone go ahead of me, you know, like in an “I’m not ready to order yet” kind of way but they say, no, you go ahead. The words of the speaker went through my head, engage before judging, show Christ’s love to the unlovely. At that moment, this boy was my unlovely. I took a deep breath, say a small prayer and step up to give him my order.
I swallowed my stupid, judgmental feelings and saw him through Christ’s eyes and started talking to him. I mean, really talking to him. He used to go to church but had fallen away. I gave him a bracelet, told him he should find a church and get back in there, that there were a lot of good churches in the area that preached Jesus. It was small conversation. Not a sermon, no alter call, just a seed planted ready for God to water.
I walked away both excited and ashamed. Ashamed that my first thought was yuck, previously gaged ears, yet excited that I quickly submitted to God’s will and allowed Him to use me to witness, in whatever small way, to someone.
When I walked out of the restaurant, the boy yelled at me, “Thanks for the bracelet.”
I smiled, “You’re welcome.”
Jesus said, “Thanks for planting the seed.”
My grin deepened, “No problem, it was actually fun.”
Who is your unlovely? Engage before judging. Love the unlovely. Show Christ to everyone. Get out there and plant some seeds.