It’s occurred to me how easy it is to pick and choose who we will actively show love to. Like an NBA draft, who has the magic? Who can do what? Who is most worthy of my time and investment? I have been guilty of this. Perhaps I’m in a hurry…theyre not worth MY time. Perhaps they are different…they’re not worth MY values. Perhaps they’re combative…they’re not worth MY humility. Its a shamefule thing. Should we show love to only some? Only the ones who we think we stand a chace of changing? Guess what? I’ve never changed anyone. Ever. And I never will.
On two seperate occassions I’ve got to meet a man known as “Scarecrow”. That’s the name other street travelers have given him. That’s what he goes by. Scarecrow is homeless. He and his dog, Jade, spend their time on the street, living as vagabonds. I’m not entirely sure what the whole story is. I get quips and phrases, mostly incoherent. What I have picked up on is that Scarecrow is ex-military, has suffered a majoy ankle injury, and despises the government that has “forsaken him”. He has lost his wife and is unsure where his children are. He searches for a lighter for his cigarette, asking other lingering travelers, forgetting that he just had his owned and tucked it back into his pocket. He smells, and screams curse words for no reason. He loves me. I know because he tells me following every other sentence.
As I sit beside Scarecrow and Jade on the street, I catch the gimpses of passer-bys, looking down in disgust and redicule. They’re not just looking at Scarecrow. I’ve become despised by association. They think we’re one in the same. I’ve never been on this end before. It’s strange and unnerving. I don’t like it. I want to defend my new friend. I want to stand up for him. He has no idea, nor does he care.
Scarecrow has nothing to give me. He can do nothing for me. He will never change. The next time I venture downtown, he will be there, on the same corner.
Mine is not to pick and choose who to love. Mine is but to love, and show it. Jesus loved a hated half breed Samaratin outcast, living in sin. He went out of His way to meet her and show her love. Jesus loved a short, yet despised tax collector, even going as far as inviting Himself to eat at the man’s house. Jesus loved me. An undeserving sinner, helpless and dirty. Jesus loved, (loves) the Scarecrows of the streets. There’s no garuantee they will love Him back. When He healed several men with leprosy, only one returned to offer thanks. Nevertheless, and even foreknowing that, He healed them anyway.
Love should be blind and ferociously active. It should be on the hunt. It should be the magnetic force that draws us to the next person that we run into. I want to love regardless of return. I want to be patient and try to undertsand the people I meet. I want to let them know that they are precious and valued by God, regardless how society treats them, or how they treat society. When I return to the corner on Pack Square, I will find Scarecrow and Jade. He will not know or recognize me, again. Nothing will have changed. I will take my seat beside him, again, and just love him with my words and actions.