It’s easy to assume when we meet a difficult person or personality that we have them all figured out. And since it was so easy to figure them out, then surely it must be even easier for them to get their act together. Right?
In college, I worked off and on at an assisted living center for seniors. One summer I worked the swing shift and one of my co-workers was, how shall we say…prickly. She was hard to work with, hard to be around, hard to listen to, just a difficult person all around. One night I sat with her in the break room while we both ate our dinner. I tried to make conversation with her and after a time she began to open up. She eventually shared that she had three kids and was a single mom. Because her husband was in prison.
I recently finished a book, If I Perish, written by a Korean woman, Esther, who was imprisoned for 6 years for her faith in the 1940s. She shares story after story of how Christ lived and loved through her to bring others to a saving knowledge of Him. One story in particular has stuck with me.
A woman in a neighboring prison cell to Esther’s was considered crazy by the inmates and guards. She would scream and rage, refusing to wash herself and covered in human waste. After a time, Esther knew that the Lord wanted her to love this crazy woman with his love. She asked the jailers to put her in her cell. Almost immediately she attacked Esther. Esther held her from behind as this woman lashed out over and over until they both lay panting on the floor, completely spent.
As the days went on, Esther would give her food to the prisoner, even though they were both starving. Esther would lay at night with her excrement-covered feet nestled in her chest to warm them. She shared the Gospel with her again and again, telling her Bible stories and of Jesus’ love for her. Over time, this woman came to know Christ herself and was completely transformed.
You see, shortly after this “crazy” lady had been put into prison, she had given birth to a baby boy. Almost immediately the guards had taken the baby from her and she never knew what became of him. In a sense, she had gone crazy. As would any mama if they had their baby torn from their arms, never to know what became of them, and no hope in Jesus.
Everyone has a story.
We live in a nation renown for looking only on the outward appearance, judging their own and others worth by what can only be seen with the natural eye. But as followers of Christ, we must pray to see and love others as Christ does, looking beyond the outward appearance.
May we daily pray to be filled with the Holy Spirit, obedient today to his will for us to love others in His Name, asking to see with His eyes the very real hurts and needs in people’s lives all around us; a reflection of a supernatural God to a natural world.
Sara lives and writes in Montana, where she and her family call home. Her greatest passions are Jesus, family, traveling, photography, writing, and dessert. She’s married to an amazing man, Matt, and they have two boys, Micah and Asher, and another (gender yet unknown!) on the way. You can read more about her atSaraMcNutt.Blogspot.com
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