One of the area's of life that God has brought to the forefront for my family right now is loving those folks who in the world are "unlovable". And I'm here to tell you ladies that I've been shocked to see that it is a huge struggle for me!
I've never been one to "look down my nose" at people.....or at least I thought I didn't. It's easy when we live in a world where we don't have to deal with "the least of these" to say that. To say things like, "I'd never do that! I would never treat them that way." For years I said things like that. I prided myself on the fact that I didn't care where you were from or who you were. I was proud of the fact that I had gone on a mission trip to Ecuador to help out such people.
But what happens when these things are brought into my own circle of daily life? I live in a very small town in the mountains of NC. There aren't a lot of homeless people here and I don't see the ones who are homeless....at least not on a regular basis. Unlike in big cities, I rarely have to involve myself with "the least, the last, the lost" unless I choose to do so. But that's just it, up until now my dealings with people like this has been on my terms and my choice.
But all of a sudden, God is bringing this area to the forefront. There are these people who've become part of my life. Mostly because they live nearby. And they definitely qualify as what I would consider the least the last and the lost.....They most certainly qualify if you take into account the worlds interpretation of those words. See, they both have mental health issues, drug problems and one even has alcohol problems. They are looked down on because of who they are. Some people look down on them because of their ethnicity....that isn't my problem -- I can say that with out a doubt. However, for others around this situation, their ethnicity is the first strike against them. Then there is the fact, that they fight a lot and cause a lot of domestic struggles and the police visit a lot. One or both of them are usually high on something or drunk. They don't always have the most appropriate attire on (even bringing my M to comment on the fact that "she is showing her belly button and that's not nice, right Mommy?). They have a big lack in social boundaries, not knowing what is appropriate to discuss in front of children and what isn't. Nor do they have an understanding of personal space or personal time.... often showing up at my house to ask for money at 9:30 PM.
There in, you see where my struggle is. Because of all the things I've mentioned, these people, as much as I want to love them, make me nervous. They have been to church a few times and I don't (WOULD NEVER) begrudge them that. See, I know that I am NO better off than they are. I know that just because their sins are more open and obvious than mine doesn't change anything with God. I do, however, have issues with them coming to my home. One of them is very aggressive and doesn't like being told that "no, I won't give you money". So the question is this? How do we love these people?
Hubs says (and I agree) that God has placed these people in our paths that we might show them the love of God. Isn't that what we are expected to do? In Matthew, Jesus tells us that "whatever we've done to the least of these my brothers, then you've done it to me.".
What exactly does that look like? How do we love the unlovable? The ones that make us nervous? The ones who we have real reason to be concerned about being around our children? The ones who have all of these problems? The ones that everyone else around just wants to be rid of and quite honestly, there are days we feel the same way.....
Girls, that is my struggle.....how do I love these people and protect my own wellness and family well being at the same time? I long to do what God is calling me to do. To show them the love of Christ. I don't even know if they know that God loves them? How do we show them?
My, this is a trial......I hope that I pass the test.