Judgements, preconceived notions, and fear often get in my way. The way someone looks, their level of cleanliness, and how educated they appear to be, often impact how I value someone. I’m not proud of that, but it’s true.
I am working hard to move past this and with fear at the root, it is challenging. I don’t life feeling uncomfortable, and with a history of being a victim of sexual violence that is more prevalent and harder to overcome. Nonetheless, I am called to move past these preconceived notions and serve the least of these. Thankfully, I had a great example.
It was Thanksgiving (last year). Mom and the rest of us, got word that the neighbor was alone for the holiday. If had met her neighbor on the street, I would have walked to the other side or at minimum not made eye contact while walking faster. Life has been hard on him. Health issues and addiction are visible on his face. Cleanliness was not a priority for him. While not condoning his actions, Mom was always kind to him, looked out for him, and frequently sent over food and cookies. She lived out this scripture.
37-40 “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 MSG),
That Thanksgiving my kiddos saw this lived out through their grandma’s eyes, words and actions. What a great gift she gave them. It did make the dinner a little uncomfortable. It made the dinner exactly what it was meant to be. We gave thanks to the One who shows us the value of every human. It is only through getting uncomfortable that I will move past my preconceived notions and live into this command to reach out to the least of these.
What preconceived notions do you have? What are you doing to move past them? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.