They were homeless traveling partners—a Christian and a Satan worshipper.
“I worship Lucifer because the Bible says he was the most beautiful angel. Did you know that?” he asked me.
On this Saturday afternoon, I was dropping off warm clothes, bottled water, and Bibles to whomever I saw on the streets. I found this couple, Michael and Denise, in Washington Square—a spacious park in the midtown area of Kansas City. They said they’d been together since North Carolina.
Michael told me he was a homeless vet, and, while he chatted with me anxiously, Denise took the Bible I offered her and flipped through the pages. She read aloud her favorite verse: Hebrews 9:27.
As she finished reading, I marveled at the nature of their relationship—his beliefs so radically different from hers. There had to be some other reason why she stayed with him. Maybe being on the streets with a protector made her feel more secure. Perhaps she was lonely or scared without someone to talk to.
But what dumbfounded me was the amount of grace she must have extended to him every day. And I wondered how that grace would look for me, the do-gooder Christian out to make a difference in my city.
Solomon says being generous to the poor honors our Maker. But generosity can involve more than handouts. It also extends grace. When a man looks you straight in the eye and says he worships Satan, you can turn and walk away or you can give him his space while embodying the love and mercy of your Lord Jesus Christ.
As we walk through the world, we are representatives of Christ. Jesus said His people are lamps on a stand, giving light to all in the house. That especially includes trying moments when we are faced with beliefs, arguments, and counter positions that hope to undermine what we believe. Those are the moments when we must call on Christ’s strength to help us love others.
No matter what anyone else believes, we can extend them grace, knowing we have God’s truth. We can show generosity to others, either to people we know or to complete strangers, because Christ’s love is in our heart.
Don’t shy away from those who don’t believe as you do. Extend them grace. Christ’s love is in your heart.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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