Have you ever clutched your purse a little tighter as you slowly inched away from someone who may have looked or dressed differently than you? Or, you thought to yourself “quick, look busy” when you noticed your needy neighbor walking your way? Or, have you ever ignored a stranger who just kept talking to you as you waited in line together at the coffee shop. You’re not alone.
It is human nature for us to remove ourselves from situations that are uncomfortable —to take one look at the poorly dressed, unkempt stranger in the grocery line and move on over to aisle three. And, maybe, we feel validated sometimes, because, well, what if he had a dangerous weapon or a police record or something— we shouldn’t put ourselves in danger.
However, God calls us to be brave —to be uncomfortable— to share His love with all who cross our paths. Scripture states that we should
[quote style=”default” cite=”Hebrews 13:2 NIV”]… not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. [/quote]
Would we have acted busy or moved over an aisle if we knew that unkempt stranger was an angel of God? Of course not.
This valentine, we encourage you to ask God to help you step out of your comfort zone. Make the connection, offer encouragement, and share His love with someone you might normally overlook or avoid all together. After all, if we are called to truly love one another – that means we must see past outer appearances, we must see past the little annoying behaviors of others, and we must see past the awkwardness of new situations. We must look past these things so that we can get to the hearts of those who are placed in our paths.
Is there someone in your life you’d like to reach back out to? Maybe you have two-or-three people in mind? Send them an encouraging e-card today, invite them to coffee or send them an encouraging card or gift. And for those who you happen upon in the grocery store or the coffee shop line, great them with love and respect.