Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Three Part One - Don't Turn Them Away


A few years ago, on July 4th, I drove past the local Post Office and saw police cars and an ambulance. I also saw a lifeless body on the ground--a man dressed in blue jeans and a black t-shirt. He was a veteran. And he killed himself under the United States flag flying overhead. I will never lose that memory of such sadness and desperation. A lonely man I assume. Someone just looking for hope on this earth.

A few weeks ago at church, a visitor and his junior high age son were looking for the youth group. I walked out to the foyer, carefully closing the door as to not disturb the service, and spoke with him. He seemed nervous and his son barely looked up. I could tell they were hurting and new and alone.

The youth group was done for the summer, but I made conversation asking him where they were from and wanted them to feel welcome. Out of the sanctuary comes an older woman. She was abrupt.

"You people can't stand here and be talking. You're disturbing the service. Go outside."

She turned and went back into the sanctuary where everyone was all cozy and settled for the teaching. I gave the gentleman a brief hug and directed him to a seat.

My Italian/New York hate for injustice fumed over and I honestly would have liked to chew out that lady. I knew it was useless and I would appear the offender. How selfish, cruel, and unkind she was. How so "unlike" Jesus she had been.

I hoped the gentleman would come back that next Sunday.

Book three is titled A Heart Like His: Living God's Will for Your Life.

You find his will, understand his will, and then ... you have to live it. Never grow weary in doing good, putting yourself last, and passing out kindness to everyone you encounter.

Don't turn people away--welcome them in any state, any form, any position, and give them the best treatment you can muster up.

My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?  James 2:1-4

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