As my life goes on, I travel the world, and meet with people from other cultures I am realizing that there is so much love and acceptance among the rejected and that those who may be forgotten tend to be the ones remembering others. I worked at the soup kitchen in Fairbanks this morning, Stone Soup, and got to hang out with the homeless in my city.This is something that most people in Fairbanks either do not know exists or they do not take the time to find out about. The workers at this soup kitchen I have had the privilege of getting to know and hang out with a bit. Seeing how hard they work with absolutely nothing of monetary value in return and not any recognition of the hard work that they do except from the people who are getting a warm meal (and in Fairbanks sometimes something warm is the most treasured gift) has really given me a reality check on loving others. I come from a Christian family and I have several Christian friends and they tend to talk about love a lot. God loves us more than we could ever imagine, so much so that He would send his only son to get beaten, scorned, separated completely from his father, and killed on a cross to provide us with a way to be with God for ever in heaven. As a Christian who loves Jesus I try to love others the way that Jesus loved us and many of my Christian friends will agree with me that this is important. But then I go to the soup kitchen…as far as I know, none of the workers are Christians and yet the love that I see coming from them is so immense and so unconditional. They live off of hardly more than the people they are serving, put in hours every day to help others and they do not expect a big paycheck, recognition, or a promotion. The people who work at the soup kitchen refer to the work team as a “family”. They notice when a volunteer has been gone for a while and they do everything they can to make sure that they are okay and they want to know what is going on in their life. They take care of eachother, support eachother, eat with eachother, and give so much of their lives to strangers. This is what Jesus did when He was on earth before he died, rose from the grave, and eventually was taken into heaven. God tells people who want to follow Him to engage in community not only with other Christians but with people who just need to be loved. It makes me sad to see people come in and out of church every sunday just to go home and live their lives for themselves forgetting about God or even the people that are around them on a daily basis.
A person does not have to travel the world to find those in need, they are in your town. They are in your workplace, they might live down the road. But it is not always easy, nice, warm, or fuzzy to go and help out those in need. We have to step out of our comfort zone and reach out to the people around us that hurt them. So if you are still reading this I would guess that you want to love people more and so I just want to encourage you to step out and love the people around you this week. Look for somebody lonley, hurting, in need, or just wanting a friend to talk to. It could be anybody anywhere at anytime but if we’re not looking for ways to love then chances are that those chances will not walk up to us and smack us in the face. Be intentional and LOVE PEOPLE!!! 😉 ❤