I recently spoke with a young man who is homeless. He thanked me for giving him a meal, and I responded that God blesses me to bless others. This opened up the conversation about God.
He shared his experience of going back to church the previous Sunday, for the first time in a long time. He said people were looking down at him for being dirty and being homeless. He said that one woman told him to leave the church.
“However”, he said with a smile on his face, “a different lady interrupted and held my hand while sitting next to me”.
This story both broke my heart and encouraged me. The first woman had judged him for being homeless and for not looking presentable by her standards.
If no one can attend church, in our present state, just as we are, then where can we go?
At the same time, there was a true follower of Jesus who reached out to the young man to make him feel welcomed.
I’m not talking about simply inviting people to a building, but rather fellowship and conversation guided by God’s redemptive love and grace. If God provides restoration, redemption, healing and love… and if the Church is to represent God, we need to be living more of a gospel life.
We should be following Jesus not only for our own selves, but by doing what Jesus did as well. We all need to receive God’s perfect, unconditional and infinite love and therefore share it with others without preferential treatment… just as Jesus did and continues to do so.