Pastor Herb Cooper of Peoples Church OKC is doing a series on Last Days https://peoples.church/series/last-days) . I respect and know him to be a man of God and preacher of truth. This week he started a list of 7 ways the church needs to get ready for the Rapture. The first one was “Return to your first love.” Not just love the Lord your God, but also love your neighbor. In this teaching, he pointed out that we tend to build relationships with people who are like us. Not just in color, but in interests, in profession, in beliefs. It’s natural and nothing is wrong with it. Unless, we neglect to love the neighbor we don’t understand. He pointed out that when his wife was crying out in childbirth, he didn’t feel any pain; but he appreciated that she was and sympathized.
I have never had a son die on foreign soil fighting for our country. However, I arrived one morning at work to find that Barb’s only son was missing in action in Afghanistan,. My tears mingled with the rest of the faculty. It never occurred to me to dismiss her pain.
I’ve never lost a job and wondered how I could make ends meet. But, when Susan text me that her husband was out of work and they couldn’t make their mortgage, I responded immediately with prayer and empathy. It never entered my mind to shrug and roll my eyes.
I did not become a widow with young children to raise alone. But right after I moved here, a young police officer was killed in the line. I didn’t know that family. Still, I watched in tears as the young wife, carrying her small child, marched behind the flag-draped coffin of her husband. I never once thought she was faking pain.
However, this week as I watched protesters around the US march through city streets, God forgive me. I shook my head and rolled my eyes in disgust. Wah, Wah, Wah. I write this after repentance.
Many, not all, of those peacefully protesting in our streets today are in pain. I don’t understand it because I have no experience to draw from in that arena. Just like bad teachers, immoral preachers, racist policemen and corrupt politicians, there are bad people protesting. But I don’t label all teachers, all preachers, all law enforcement because of those failures. How can I label all protesters?
I’m watching the protesters today with new vision. I’m looking for those who are truly hurting from something I do not understand and cannot comprehend.
With Brandon Heath, I pray today, Oh Lord; Give me your eyes. Give me your heart. Let me see the way You see. Help me love my neighbor, especially the one I don’t have anything in common with. I need, want and must return to my first love. The love for God and the love for my neighbor.
Thinkin’ today about how Jesus sees.