If you are committed to following Jesus’ example, then it won’t be long before serving others will expose you to feet fungus and ugly warts. And isn’t that what Jesus (the foot washer) calls us to do as we follow in his footsteps?
I live in the town where Charles Schultz penned Charlie Brown. In one of his cartoons, Charlie Brown says: “I love humanity; it’s people I can’t stand”.
It’s easier to love humanity from a mile-high vista. It’s more challenging to love people down in the valley, up close and personal. But loving people as they are and communicating a loving acceptance to them, is one way to discover that God loves us, warts and all.
The story of Dominique illustrates what acceptance looks like. Dominique was a lean, muscular man who learned at age of 54 that he was dying of cancer. That year, he moved into poor neighborhood, took a job as night watchman in factory, and before work every morning he would go to the park, and sit on a bench, and hang out with homeless, drifters, alcoholics and mentally ill persons who congregated in the park
And Dominique never scolded them, criticized them, or reprimanded them. Instead, he laughed, told stories, and shared candy. His witness lay in accepting them, and people flocked him. He was the most non-judgmental person they ever known.
One day, group of people asked him about his life. He told them with a quiet conviction about how God loved them tenderly and stubbornly. He told that Jesus came for outcasts like them. And his words carried the weight of credibility because his words were backed by his acceptance and love.
One day Dominique failed to show up at the park. People in the park grew concerned, and a few hours later, he was found dead on floor of his apartment.
Shortly after his funeral, they found his journal—this was his last entry:
“All that is not of love has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God, shown in Jesus. If God wants my life to be useful though my words and my witness, then so be it. But the usefulness of my life is not my concern, it is his—it would be indecent of me to worry about that.”
May you become so enthralled by the limitless and unconditional love of God that you would seek ways to show your love to others.
Go and be available. Go and be accepting. Go in the name of Jesus.