Countless times, we are told stories of the horrible things that our clients have to endure. They have been pointed and laughed at, people have thrown trash at them, they have been sexually assaulted in their sleep, and much more. It is difficult to sit on the receiving ends of these stories and really ever have the right words to say to comfort those who have to endure these acts on a daily basis. Sure, we could offer them words of wisdom, motivational slurs, but at the end of the day, that offers them nothing but empty words that fill the space.
I work for New Mexico Dream Center but because of the limited financial resources, I do not receive much financial compensation. So, I work a second job and I serve tables. I have served people from all walks of life. Last night, I served a family of four - they were kind and funny, but they had tattoos and dressed in a way that one might consider “ghetto”. I was busy so I asked a fellow co-worker to take extra bread to their table. After she agreed and took bread to their table, I asked if she happened to notice if they needed drink refills. She immediately responded by saying, “No… I didn’t look at them… they were terrifying. I dropped the bread and I ran.”
I thought nothing of it at the time, but in reflecting back on it, I realized something - I realized how often we “serve” and “love” God’s people when it is convenient for us and when it fits in the box that we think is where we are most “called to serve”. My friend meant nothing by her comment, but I can’t help but hear the stories told by our kids and relate them back to that table that I served. What had they endured? What opportunities to love have we already sacrificed when we decide that they were too scary to even look at?
It is easier said than done - to love God’s people at all times, without barriers or expectations; to honor them when they look and act nothing like you. But it can and will change the world. At the very least, it will change yours and theirs.