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Saturday, May 4, 2013

something beautiful happened today

today, i walked into a gas station. i was checking out and I met eyes with a man at the counter. His arms were full of tattoos. skulls. crossbones. there were so many that I couldn't count them all. His head was shaved and he had a swastika tattooed on the top of his head. By, all appearances, this was a bad guy. By all appearances, this was a "hide your wife" hide your kid"  type of man.

Occassionally, God allows me to feel a supernatural love for people. It is often marked by a deep love of strangers that I have never even met. Lot's of times, He lets me see other's  through His eyes. I wish that I could explain, in human words, how beautiful that really is.

I can't. All I will say is that today I saw a man that the world would look down upon. Many would have cast him aside with a glance. Many would not give him a kind word or even take the time to say hello.

Today, I saw this man the way that Jesus sees him. You see, Jesus doesn't look upon the surface. Often, the things on the surface..are simply a way to hide the pain within. 
I once heard that people are like onions. We all have many layers. People usually look at the outward skin and judge based on appearance. God can see into the heart. He sees the abuses that we have faced. He sees our fear. He sees the child who never knew the love of a father or the child whose mother was never home. He sees. He sees every wound and every tear and every bit of sleepless night that we have faced.

Often, pain makes it's way to the surface. Sometimes, it comes out in the form of a skull and crossbones. or even a swastika painted on the top of the head. Sometimes, these things are nothing more than a way to say. Notice me. You don't know what I have faced. I dare you to look at me.

So, today, I looked at him. But I didn't see him the way that many others might. I didnt cast him down with my eyes. Instead, I felt a deep compassion for him. I smiled and tried to speak to him. He looked very sad. Where others may have seen a "bad guy" I saw a field full of sheep. and there was this one who needed to be carried safely home.

Today, I kept thinking about how often we judge others. We are quick to preach condemnation and hell to those whose lives don't look like ours. We wave our little signs of judgment in the air. But today, God reminded me of something.  He never once told us to preach condemnation to others. He never once told us to preach damnation on anyone.

His command was always, "preach the  GOOD NEWS to every living creature."
Jesus said, "how beautiful are the feet of those who preach GOOD news." How often do we pull out the verses that suit our own agenda or pull out verses that will knowingly rip others in half? Why do place others in the flames without realizing that they have probably spent a good portion of their lives tasting hell already?

when is the last time we simply preached Good news?
"For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.."
Do you guys Remember the parable of the banquet  table?
The master of the house was having a wedding feast. Everyone had an exuse as to why they couldn't come. So, he went out into the streets and started inviting the poor, the blind, the lame, and the beggar. They were the ones willing to dine. The ones that the world had cast down were the very ones who gladly attended the feast.
Lately, that has been the one thing that I have wanted everyone to know.
You ARE invited.
No matter where you are in life, you're invited.
No matter what you look like, you're invited.
No matter what you have done, you're invited.
So today, when I looked at that man, I simply saw a man, invited to banquet table.
Please pray for him that he show up.