Learning to Love ‘These People’

“Mama, are you going to give that man some money?”

We stopped for after school Icee’s at the corner convenience store. The homeless man stood at the corner in his rumpled, dirty clothes and his blank stare.

“No. We don’t give money to those people.”

I continued the education that had been given me as a child. These people were different. They’re on drugs or drunks. They’re not like us.

My parents worked with these people, as my husband and I do now. These people I once thought so different.

When the dirt is washed away, when there’s food in their belly and light in their eyes; when they have clean clothes and a new smile, they don’t look like these people at all. They look a lot like you and me. But, of course, they’re not.

You and I have a permanent residence. We pay rent or a mortgage. We have a closet full of clothes and a washer and dryer in our house.

We have a shower to wash away the exterior that barely shows on our skin, the skin covering this body that is washed and fed daily.

No, we’re different. On the outside.

Poor choices don’t exempt us from being loved.

 

I suppose that’s what Jesus knew all along. He was surrounded by these people, called these people to follow him. When Jesus changes lives he changes us from these people to Chosen people

 

Our son and his wife were with us when we slowed to a stop at this corner we cross heading to our offices. They saw the man and this son who asked when he was a child if we were going to give the man money now said to his dad, “roll down the window” as he stretched across his father to press a dollar in the man’s hand. Our daughter-in-law said she has a “little man” in their town. They’re both tender hearts and even this mama who once said, “we don’t give these people money” has changed. Some days it’s a dollar pushed into his palm and most days a prayer said to keep him safe Lord.

These people are now my people because we are all God’s people. He’s just waiting for us to call Him Savior.

“The guard who is posted to protect the sheep opens the gate for the shepherd, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When all the sheep have been gathered, he walks on ahead of them; and they follow him because they know his voice.” John 10:3-4 the Voice

 

Post Script This seems more relevant today as our country seeks to identify and exclude these people. Christ, have mercy.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

13 thoughts on “Learning to Love ‘These People’

  1. Annie Rim

    Debby, I read this with my morning coffee first thing this morning and it was so needed. Loving the other. Sometimes it’s easier to love the other who Looks so different than me. I’m finding it hard these days to love the other that looks quite similar. But, it’s all true and needed, isn’t it? Thank you for this devotional.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      That can be the hardest, Annie, loving the one who looks like us. So true. Thanks for pointing that out. I missed it.

      Reply

  2. sarahgirl3

    These people are now my people.
    I’m getting a little teary. If only we could see everyone as our people!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I still struggle with that Sarah. My friend Annie pointed out that sometimes it’s those who are more like us we have trouble thinking of as our people. Ouch! but so true.

      Reply

  3. hopeful50

    We try so hard to be Spirit-led when we see the people at the lights in South FL or any bigger city (not so much where we live)…our favorite thing to do is go to the nearest fast-food restaurant, buy a meal and a coffee and circle back and give it to them. If that isn’t possible – a dollar or two. My niece in PB County keeps male/female blessing bags in her car – gives a bag and a bottle of water to every single one she sees.

    Reply

    1. Joanne Viola (@JViola79)

      Susan, I love the idea of the blessing bags!

      Reply

    2. Debby Hudson

      I’m with you Susan. That’s what I do too. And your niece’s practice such a testimony.

      Reply

  4. Valerie Sisco at Grace with Silk

    Beautifully written, Debby.

    Living like Jesus lived invites us to be much more interruptible than we can imagine being — something that I don’t welcome when my plans are already made — but Jesus stopped for everybody who needed him and that’s a beautiful example!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      I’ve always been taken with the story of the woman who just touched his garment and he sensed her. His knowing is a comfort to me Valerie.

      Reply

  5. Joanne Viola (@JViola79)

    The Lord will surely prompt us when we are supposed to give. We will know if we are to buy them a meal or give them a few dollars. We will be compelled for God calls us, His people, to take care of – His people. Wonderful post!

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      He does prompt us, doesn’t he Joanne. I’m with you – love the blessing bags!

      Reply

  6. April Knapp

    Beautifully written. I struggle with this a lot. I usually do not have cash on me, but I try to smile or wave, as awkward as it is, because I want to remember they are human. PS. I found you through Holley Gerth’s link up.

    Reply

    1. Debby Hudson

      It is awkward, isn’t it April? Remembering they’re human can even feel like a challenge but one we must take on remembering God’s love for all of us. Thanks for stopping by.

      Reply

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