i was recently reminded what it is to love like Christ. to many christians, this is not a new concept ... He loves the whole world, right? but now stop and think, we are commanded to love our neighbor ... and not just the ones that live beside us. Jesus loves people that cannot love him back, people that have nothing ... no hope, no car, no job and no home. Jesus loves people that curse his name, people that are evil and what we would consider undeserving. is it humanly possible to love these people? the answer is "yes" or else we would not have been commanded to do so.
this past weekend, i participated in a young adult mission retreat in downtown raleigh. we met up with hugh hollowell to learn about love wins ministry. his goal is to build relationships with the poor, homeless and needy. he does not preach or pass out mass amounts of clothing and food. instead of working in a soup kitchen, he eats meals there with his friends. thats right, these people are his friends and family. he loves them and shows it every day just like we would with our friends and family. he listens when they are excited or upset, shares meals, goes for walks or just sits on a curb with them and hangs out. every day he shows them God's love. eventually, some of his friends find a home or come to know God but his main focus is to love them even if they stay the same. hugh's genuine love and compassion was such an encouragement to me. i may not have the dough to buy homes for the homeless or have the time to walk around downtown all day, every day making friends. but i know where to start, because i do have enough time to stop, acknowledge and for God sake smile at someone who most people treat as invisible.
i can't wait to serve again with hugh and the love wins crew. i look forward to seeing some new friends i met last saturday morning passing out biscuits.