Today I was driving to work and I saw a homeless man on the side of the road. He looked like he had seen hard times. Sometimes, we can just look at a person and tell that life for them, hasn't been easy.
Instead, we judge. We make assumptions.
We say, "get a job."
Not all of us have that attitude. But most people I've encountered do.
I've seen the shows about pan-handling. People stand on street corners, begging for money or spare change and make up to $30,000 a year.
But today as I saw this homeless man. I didn't see a pan handler. I saw a vulnerable person. Down on his luck. I saw someone who had been pushed around. I saw a man who needed Jesus.
I saw a human soul.
I was digging around for to see if I had a few dollars in cash and I noticed a police officer. I couldn't see what he was doing, but it looked as if he were frisking the man.
Suddenly, I felt hurt. I felt like the police officer should have just let the man alone.
I felt like the man was targeted because he was lowly.
Because he was down on his luck.
I saw a lack of compassion in the officer. But then again, I can't imagine what kind of horrors police officers must witess. But still, a seeminly lack of compassion.
Earlier that day, I was thrust in the middle of an angry situation. I was thrust in the midst of someone else's frustration and impatience.
I had been in a great mood.
High on life. Living in the fulness of God's purpose, when lo and behold, the hammer of anger came crashing down, smashing my joy into little tid bits.
I saw, at that moment, how anger plants thorns in the hearts of people. How it hurts us in deep ways. It is so easy to act out of anger and impatience.
But as Christians, we have a responsibility.
Anger drives thorns into the hearts of people. Jesus is the one who wore the thorns so we wouldn't have to nail them into the people that we meet.
What if our anger kept someone from finding the answers to life greatest questions? What if our anger kept someone from wanting to know about the Greatest Story Ever Told?
Anger does not lift up. It tears down. It discourages. It's the easy route.
It's the wide path.
Let it Go.
I see a Hope in this life. I see lives that need healing touches and anger will tear down.
Stop. Count to ten. Say a prayer. But please think before you act. Anger destroys. It was placed here by the enemy and it sows seeds of hatred. Lives are destroyed through anger.
Today in my sadness, I thought about how hard it is to love. How it opens us to disappoints.
Because we care. We see a need.
We have a concern for lives. We see bitterness and hatred all around. Consuming people.
We see this Hope. And we want people to have it. To let them know that life doesn't have to be defined by sadness and despair.
But it is through that concern, that I can see how Jesus must feel. How sad he must be. Because He loves greater than I could ever even imagine. How must He feel when we choose to kick people in the face with anger. When we drive thorns into hearts with our words and our selfish actions.
But I have struggled with this foul emotion. But I am learning that the more I know Jesus, the more patience mutes the loud screams of anger. Patience. Patience. Patience.
Today my prayer is for all those that struggle with anger. That we may see the seeds of discord that you plant. How these seeds reap despair. That we can see that healing cannot be accomplished when we plant diseases through our words.
You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, "Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment." But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment ... first go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:21-24).