“Be kind … forgiving one another.”
A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam.
He called his parents from San Francisco. “Mom and Dad, I’m coming home, but I have a favor to ask. I have a friend I’d like to bring with me.”
“Sure,” they replied, “we’d love to meet him.”
“There’s something you should know,” the son continued, “he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. He stepped on a land mine and lost an arm and a leg. He has nowhere else to go, and I want to him to come and live with us.”
“I’m sorry to hear that, son. Maybe we can help find him somewhere to live.”
“No, Mom and Dad, I want him to live with us.”
“Son,” said the father, “you don’t know what you’re asking. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. We have our own lives to live, and we can’t let something like this interfere with our own lives. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He will find a way to live on his own.”
At that point, the son hung up the phone. The parents heard nothing more from him.
A few days later, however, they received a call from the San Francisco police. Their son had died after falling from a building, they were told. The police believed it was suicide.
The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. They recognized him, but to their horror they also discovered something they didn’t know, their son had only one arm and one leg.
The parents in this story are like many of us. We find it easy to love those who are good-looking or fun to have around, but we don’t like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable. We would rather stay away from people who aren’t as healthy, beautiful, or smart as we are. Thankfully, God doesn’t treat us that way. God loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the family, regardless of where we come from or how messed up we are.
Today, say a prayer that God will give you the strength you need to accept people who are different from you, to love them just the way they are, and to help you to be more understanding of those that you do not understand.
Jesus was constantly criticized by those around him for reaching out to people who were socially unacceptable. He reached out to people of other cultures and belief systems. He spent time and ate with people that were defiled and hated. He chose to walk the high path of not judging them by what they did in the past. He chose not to withhold his love and therefore taught by example to us all.
Read Jesus’ story, “The Parable of the Good Samaritan” Luke 10:25-37
POSITIVE DAILY PRAYER:
Dear God, I ask that You help me to be an accepting person.
Help me to see the good in others.
Help me to believe the best.
Help me to tear down the barriers that I have built around myself.
Help me to reach out and touch others with my loving presence.
In Jesus Christ’s name … Amen
POSITIVE DAILY AFFIRMATION: Today, with God’s help, I accept others just the way they are.
POSITIVE DAILY QUOTE: “Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.”
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Christopher Ian Chenoweth