Loving Those Different Than Me

I was desperate for gas, so I pulled into the nearest station, though it wasn’t in the best part of town.  I set the pump to click off when it was done filling, and I retreated to the safety of my car.  I was in broad daylight, yet part of me was admittedly uneasy.

When I got out of my little blue Civic to finish the transaction at the pump, I noticed two African American men walking toward the parked car right next to mine.

Lord, protect me…

As one opened his car door, he looked at me and said, “Good morning, Ma’am.  How you doin’ this fine morning?”

I was so taken off-guard that I chuckled and finally responded, “I’m fine, thank you.”

I completely judged those men.  I was sure they were going to say something inappropriate or crude.  Instead, they couldn’t have been more polite and friendly.

I find it easy to love those who are like me.  It’s admittedly difficult to look past skin color, economic status, cleanliness, or the make/model of a person’s car, and yet I’m supposed to love my neighbors, even those different than me.

Brennan Manning, in his book Abba’s Child, put it this way, “The command of Jesus to love one another is never circumscribed by the nationality, status, ethnic background, sexual preference, or inherent loveableness of the ‘other.’”

I’d love to claim that I’m not racist, that I see everyone I encounter through Jesus’ eyes, and I love them equally and accordingly.  But the previous story clearly demonstrates the opposite…

Lord, help me love others who are different than me…

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~ by Serena on September 24, 2010.

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