Loving the unlovely

Tuesday Reflection

2 June 2020

The refuse collectors came round this morning.
I was so pleased to see them, as we are taking down a garage with an accumulation of 50 yrs 'essentials' packed into it.
We're on our second skip but our garden was looking like a war zone with two blue bins and boxes of cardboard stacked up;
(the scrap metal men came yesterday to remove of a pile of assorted metal from the front garden - bless them!).
All rubbish not destined for the skip has now gone. Joy!!

One of my readings today, that I would like to share, was on a similar theme,
reflecting on how many times we have wanted to throw away messy, difficult relationships;
or left individuals on the roadside like yesterday's rubbish in the hopes that they would miraculously disappear.
I must confess, for me, there have been a few.
In a world pushing for the elimination of 'toxic' people and the light of the racism,
which caused the tragic death of George Floyd, the black American, killed by a policeman in America;
how do we respond when God clearly calls us to 'dive into the bin' and salvage our broken relationships?
For me, not easily - but Jesus shows us the way.

When Jesus was here on earth he sought out the outcasts, the 'social rejects'
he spent time with them, ate with them, healed them, taught them.
He touched a person with leprosy, healed the demon-possessed and the lame,
gave sight to the blind and had a group of friends who were quite unlikely characters.
Jesus saved them rather than discarding them; he became part of their lives rather than apart from them.
He welcomed all, calling them to 'Come...'

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Jesus stood and called out [in a loud voice],

"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!".-- John 7:37.

Then Jesus declared,

"I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty."-- John 6: 35

Like Jesus, we too can say 'Come. ' to the chaotic, complex and inconvenient people in our lives,
We can love others despite what we think or feel about their seemingly flawed,
imperfect characters (We are called to love them, we don't necessarily have to like them!),
and perhaps they feel that way about us too.
Let us try to repair broken relationships. Jesus said

34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,
even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another." John 13:34,35

Let us pray for Jesus' help today to be able to love and have a kind word for all those we meet,
especially the 'unlovely'.

Talk to the homeless man sitting in front of the supermarket,
you may find him one of the nicest of people with a fascinating story to tell that will enrich your day.