This one isn’t for the weak.  It isn’t for the faint of heart.  It isn’t for those who go in and out of their days enjoying SAMENESS.  This is only for those who can honestly look at themselves, see yourself for WHO YOU ARE, and want to change it.  Think different.  Act different. 

Ya gotta love Luke, for a 12 year old boy….OK he really isn’t twelve, but he’s YOUNG, in college, and won’t be reading this anyway, so I can call him twelve. HAHA!  Anyway, he has this great way of talking to the Youth with passion and fervor.  So tonight he asked us what Jesus meant when He said to love your neighbor as yourself.  We had this nice discussion about what our ideas are behind what Jesus said.  We are to think of people, saved/unsaved, same/different, above OURSELVES. 

He told this story of a front page article in the paper that showed this man standing in front of his car, it’s ripped up, doors are gone, engine is completely stripped, tires gone, and behind that is his house with horrible graffiti.  And in big letters on the car and on the house, the vandals had written “GAY”.   And he admitted his FIRST thoughts weren’t very Christ-like.  But God pricked his heart to look past the WORDS and look at the MAN. 

THAT is loving our neighbor as ourselves. 

I worked with an amazing young man at the last preschool I taught at, and he was gay.  The fact that he was gay, didn’t deterr me from being friends with him, because I LIKED the man he was!  He was simply adorable!  Wonderful sense of humor, great with the kids, and compassionate.  So one day, I asked Bryan the Adorable all my stupid questions I have always wanted to know about the homosexual lifestyle, but was too afraid to ask, and let’s be frank, he WAS the first gay man I had ever known!  And he was so sweet and answered all my dumb questions.  So then I thanked him and told him he was the FIRST gay man I had EVER known, and he smiled that adorable, soft smile, and he said straight to my face:  “You’re the first Christian that’s ever been nice to me.”

<THUD>

And that is the reputation that “Christians” have.  We look down our snotty noses at people that are DIFFERENT than us.  We somehow think that we are BETTER than everyone else around us. 

Well I will be the first to admit that Iam by far, nowhere NEAR better than anyone else.  I am grumpy, I am not nice, I eat too much food, and I can be judgemental, and I’ve lied.  And I lusted for those bodice-ripping novels! HAAAAAAAAAAA!  How’s that honest?  LOL 

What I’m trying to say is, I’m no BETTER than anyone else, I just happen to have found that GRACE through Jesus Christ that saved my rotten soul!  I can’t look DOWN on anyone else because they haven’t found it yet, I can reach down and help someone else up.  Without Christ, I’d be completely dead in my sin without a hope or a prayer. 

It breaks my heart that Christians have such a bad reputation for being so snotty and judgemental towards others.  And Luke has challenged us to LOOK beyond the sin that has drug them down, and look at the PERSON behind it.  Block out all the other and SEE that we have something that will give them HOPE and a life. 

Now, for me, it isn’t gay people.  I have had some wonderful, beautiful friends that were lesbians, and I’ll tell you, I’ve never met a nicer couple ever in my life.  I love those ladies to pieces!  I was blessed to know them and to call them friend. 

No, mine is goth.  <gasp>  OK, I know that sounds dumb, but you know the people that dress all in black and have everything including their EYELIDS pierced….the punk/goth/gosh, I can’t think of any other names for them LOL, but you know who I’m talking about.  They scare me.  I KNOW that’s stupid, I’ve never had any bad experiences with anyone that was, it’s just my dumbness.  They scare me.  There ya go….right out there for ALL the world to see.  DANA IS AFRAID OF GOTH PEOPLE.  Yeah, that’s gonna get around….that’s reallllllll nice….

Anyway, so at the youth “fishing” trip, God prompted me to talk to a little group of them and my first thought was “WALK AWAY WALK AWAY!!”  But I stopped and something stupid came out of my mouth, but it was an ENTRANCE to share Christ with them!  And they laughed (probably AT me) and I laughed and I DID it!  I overcame my stupid fears and shared my HOPE that I have!

And it’s NOT that I share Christ with “those sinners”, it’s that I’ve BEEN there!  I am there, I just found the One that could pick me up, all covered in my filth, brush me off and tell me I’m LOVED!   That’s the HOPE I have!  “Here, let me help you out of there….I have something GOOD to tell you!”  You are LOVED!  Christ loves YOU, right where you sit, in the sin you commit, in the bad, ugly things we do and say, He loves you NOW!

So that is our challenge as Christians, look beyond that sin, that lifestyle, that color of skin, that different faith, and see the PERSON.  Have compassion on that PERSON.  Help them up and tell them Someone LOVES them and wants to help them out of there.  Oh I’m THERE, BABY!  I’m all over it! 

 Anyone else?

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