Everyone is Lovable

Sitting around our slightly scuffed up and very used dinner table, my husband asked our son what he learned at school.  Scooping up a fork full of red beans and rice, our son said,

“We learned that everyone is lovable.”

My husband and I glanced at each other with both surprise and gratitude.  I took a bite of my cornbread, chewed as quickly as possible, and said to him,

“That is a great lesson.”

I thought about his statement throughout the night.  At what point do we start to not think this way?  When do we decide that some people are more lovable than others?  In our adult experience, why is it that we forget this lesson?  Why is it that children must teach it to us?  

As a Christian, I have found myself seeing others with blurred vision.  There are certainly people who I would never want to surround myself with, and yet, perhaps these people are the exact ones that Christ sought so desperately.

We teach our children to love without borders, to be kind without restrictions, and to give without expectation; yet, we often do not live up to the standard that we teach. And yet, it takes a simple elementary school lesson to stir my heart upon these things.

Since becoming a parent, I have felt drawn towards the refining messages and lessons learned from watching them grow up.  Our children teach us so much – just like we taught our parents, and so on.  I thank The Lord for these lessons, second chances at getting it right, and tender moments when you just know that the words coming from the lips of your child are totally meant for you.

I’ve been asked how I feel about certain political issues, social debates, and hot topics that make up our days.  If I want to live a life aligned with the heart of Christ, then, I choose to leave my answer at a place of love.  I’ve decided that nothing else matters except a heart that loves, a heart that forgives, and a heart that admits we are all in need of love.

I’m so thankful that my son walked away from school (public school, I might add), with the reminder that everyone is lovable…Everyone – rich, poor, clean, dirty, shameful, unashamed, popular, unpopular, black, white, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, gay, straight, smart, not smart….the list goes on.

Thank you, Lord, for finding me lovable in the moments I’ve deserved it the least, the moments I’ve needed it the most, and in that incredible moment You drew a last painful breath on the Cross.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, – Galatians 5:22

When Good Things Happen to Bad People

Why does it seem that bad things always happen to good people?  I have often wondered this; even though, I believe the Lord holds all of us His hands, and that suffering is part of the walk here on Earth.

I have been thinking lately of “good” people versus “bad” people.  I can say that I probably have fit, or still fit, in both of these categories at various times in my life. As a believer in Christ, I know that I am not good enough for His redemption.  It is by grace and supreme forgiveness that I am saved.

Being in the field of social work, I hear the awful things that people do to children and see first hand what the years of poor choices have often lead to, but, I also get the “back story” to these people’s lives.  I learn that many of them were abused as children, grew up in extreme poverty, and had absent fathers & mothers.  Many have addictions that plague them starting in their early adolescence and on through adulthood.

I had a client tell me one time, “You’ve treated me better than my own family ever treated me.”  She was 20-years-old, addicted to meth, homeless, uneducated, and just lost her baby to the foster care system.  I was certainly not her friend.  I was the case manager for her and her infant son, and ended up being the one who recommended termination of her parental rights.  However, I was kind to her.  I tried to put myself in her shoes.  It is tragically sad that I treated her better than her family.

I have often thought, “By the grace of God go I”.  Basically, I didn’t grow up in these type of situations and give praise for the Lord’s grace in my life that I’m not living this way now.  There is great heartbreak in our own backyards; yet, so many of us are shielded from the turmoil.

I have had my share of bad things that have happened, but I have also had an incredible amount of good things and good people in my life.  I am left with the thought/question of, “What if good things happened to bad people?”  I mean, what if the world showed more mercy and kindness to those deemed “bad” by society?  What if you and I (you know…the “good” guys) decided to wake up each day with the notion that we are going to make a positive difference in the life of someone who otherwise might be overlooked or looked down upon?

What if goodness and kindness became a habit?

The best thing ever happened to all of us.  Our Lord and Savior chose us.  His love and mercy are incredibly good things that continue to bless us every day.

photo (23)I believe in the power of a redeeming God who loves everyone – “good” or “bad”.  I also believe in His calling for us to love one another.  Maybe it is time for us to show the goodness of His love to others.  I cannot help but hope and believe that if more good things happened to bad people, our world would be a kinder, softer, and more loving place.

What do you think?