Elin doesn't have a list of requirements you must meet before she will befriend you. Her heart is almost immediately open to whoever walks across her path. You can be white, black, straight, gay, pierced, tattooed, poor, rich, saved or unsaved. She will not judge you by what you look like or what you believe. She will accept you and love you right where you are.
Elin has taught me that we as Christ followers have so much that others need. But so often we keep these gifts to ourselves and don't share them. Why? I think sometimes we might not be aware of the need, or we are too distracted to notice someone who is in need, or we are not willing to give to someone who doesn't "look" or "act" like we believe they should.
I want to talk about what we have that others in this life need from us. See if you have these things in your life to give away. If so, your life could change today. Your life could begin to influence others in a way you never dreamed possible. Before you think I am speaking out of some sort of perfect place.....believe me, I am encouraging myself today as I write!
This comes from an attitude of humility. Realizing you are no better than anyone else. Understanding God loves the person just as much as He loves you. Acceptance of a persons humanity, no matter what their life might look like, is a representation of God's heart. When a person feels accepted, they don't feel judged. Christ followers should have hearts of acceptance towards anyone. We cannot love a person, if first we can't look past what they look or act like. Elin has a couple of friends who struggle with homosexuality. When they first came into our home, it was obvious they expected us to judge them, not accept them. God filled us with so much acceptance towards them we could not help love them. They have told Elin they love to come to our home because they feel so loved and accepted.
A couple of days ago, Elin came to me and was telling me about her friend Rachel who had just broken up with her boyfriend and moved out with practically nothing. Her apartment was in need of everything. So Elin and I went shopping....in our house....for stuff. Oh! We had so much fun! We went through the whole kitchen and picked out stuff and then moved to boxes of decor and a cabinet with extra towels and out to the garage to boxes of Elin's stuff from when she lived out on her own. We had 3 huge bins of stuff to give to Rachel. Stuff. Just stuff. But to Rachel, that stuff was needed. She needed it and we didn't. I had not met Rachel and she came over to the house the next day. She just hugged me and thanked me. She doesn't know Jesus....yet. But she had a little taste of Him....in the form of our stuff. What stuff do you have....and who needs it? God knows....
We all have love to give. God's love. There are so many people on this planet who are totally void of love in their life. It's amazing to me the impact love can make in a person's life when all they have known is anger, dysfunction, and selfishness. When you begin to love a person in this condition, they will sometimes not know how to receive it. Keep loving them. Their heart cries out for you to do so. Slowly their heart opens and lets the love come in. You never know how long you will be in their life, so love hard and fast and often. The love of God in you is powerful to change a person's soul. They will never forget that you loved them. Love looks like a smile when you see them, a big hug, a listening ear, an interest in their life and how they are doing or whatever else God asks of you.
People who need what we have are all around us. My prayer is my eyes would be opened to them. My prayer is that I will not be too busy to notice them. My prayer is I will recognize the need, and be willing to give what I have. This is what life is about. Giving what God has given us.....acceptance, all our stuff, and most importantly love.
Who needs what you have?