Monday, December 12, 2016

smelly people

Lewis talks about a great and ubiquitous danger in Christianity today in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He talks about finding people "like us" and thereby avoiding those who are "different". And the temptation is real, isn't it? No matter where you go to church... it's easy to find people you like, hang out with them, talk to them, make friends with them... and avoid those who are different. Those who say awkward things or smell funny or make us feel uncomfortable somehow.

It's natural! Of course we like people who are like us. And of course we gravitate away from people who make us uncomfortable. But Jesus calls us to love them, doesn't He? Sometimes we have to reach out to those who smell funny. Sometimes we are called to invite people who make us feel uncomfortable to do things with us. Because that is what love looks like.

And this might shock some people... but sometimes it means being friends with people who AREN'T Christians. Jesus does love everyone, right? He wants to share His love and goodness with people who haven't had the chances we have had to learn to love Him. And most of the time, we are the way He reaches out to them.

It's not easy. It takes a determined effort. For me, it usually means reminding myself of all of the amazing things He's done for me. And in gratitude, I reach out to those who smell funny.

I do have to remember that there are times that I'm awkward. That I make people feel uncomfortable. And yes... I've even smelled funny. Thankfully, someone reached out to me. The least I can do is return the favor.

God, thanks for reaching out to awkward, uncomfortable, smelly people.