Friday, August 17, 2012

Tuckers 1st Birthday celebration

Recently, a major fast food chicken chain was in the news for the beliefs of its owners. Beliefs that have become highly unpopular in segments of mainstream society.

The outpouring of the Christian community to support the chain was significant.

I heard from one franchise owner who relayed how they responded. She conveyed that they tried to love their detractors through this time. They tried to be grace.

Many Christian patrons attempted to do likewise.

There are many stories as a result of this polarizing event.

My question is this.

What would happen if we united to love those who don't know Him, in similar fashion to the way we embraced Chick-fil-a?

What if we each responded to the call on our lives as believers to love people, and to lose our judgmental attitudes?

Jesus had compassion. Scripture describes His reaction:

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Mtw 9:36)

He saw their need, but didn't judge. Rather he was moved to love. He compelled His disciples to pray for them. If we maintain His heart and attitude, we would understand that when the Bible says...

"the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble." (Proverbs 4:19)

...that our role is not to condemn, rather to surround them in prayer, then love them. 

It is difficult to lead someone into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ if we are stoning them with our words and attitudes.

We can become so entrenched in what we believe that we fail to recognize the judgmental spirit when it rises up and takes over our witness.

We are to live as Christ lived. We are to represent who He is, and all He stands for. This means we must routinely exit our comfort zones to love.

I am including a story today of what loving someone looks like. This is just one example: 
(I copied this from the facebook page of Gracepoint Church, Denton, Tx)

Listen to these words of a taxicab driver: Because I drive the night shift, my cab often becomes a moving confessional. Passengers climb in, sit behind me in total anonymity, & tell me about their lives. I encounter people whose lives amaze me, ennoble me, make me laugh & sometimes weep. But none touched me more than a woman I picked up late one August night.

Responding to a call from a small brick fourplex in a quiet part of town, I assumed I was being sent to pick up some partiers, or someone who had just had a fight with a lover, or a worker heading to an early shift at some factory in the industrial part of town.

When I arrived at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, then drive away.

But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door & knocked.

"Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress & a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie.

The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos & glassware.

"Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she asked. I took the bag & then turned to assist her. She took my arm & we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It’s nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated". "Oh, you’re such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?" "It’s not the shortest way," I answered quickly. "Oh, I don’t mind," she said. "I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice."

I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don’t have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don’t have very long." I quietly reached over & shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked.

For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she & her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.

She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner & would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.

As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I’m tired. Let’s go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous & intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.

I opened the trunk & took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.

"How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," I said. "You have to make a living," she answered. "There are other passengers," I responded.

Almost without thinking, I bent & gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you."

I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.

What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware - beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.

What would happen if we each set aside personal agendas for a day, or a week, and just sought to love those He brought into our paths? What if for a time, we went the extra mile?

If we each reached out to meet others needs instead of our own, I believe it would revolutionize our way of  thinking, and ultimately, our way of living.

Jesus is revolutionary.

So should we be.

But first, we must learn have compassion and love.



At 3:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog and so true!

Tucker is so cute. I want to hug him.
Love you all
Aunt Maralyn

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bj's family,
I am doing the Bible Bee this year, and am at the end of the bible study. It mentioned Bj, and I decided to look him up. He, and you guys, are such an inspiration to me. He has prompted me to be a bolder Christian. I one day, I hope to be as godly a man as he was.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Happy Birthday, Tucker!

He sure is growing up fast. I love that story of the cab driver because it is so touching and it makes you think about how many times you 'honk once' but never 'go to the door'. We are all so focused all what we need to get done and we don't care what happens to others.

I'm so moved by the way that Chick-fil-a stood for Christan values no matter what the mainstream media and whatnot had to say. I really respect a single chain standing against a nation. I makes me think that a single person can stand against a school or a company. Everything that you post is so inspiring!

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