During Lent, I received emails from 40 Acts to do lent more generously. Some challenges were easier to complete than others, but all of them pushed me in my relationships, in my faith. and in my decision-making.
One of them that left a huge impact on me was Act #27: Widen your circle by Guvna B. He talked about a “Jesus Project”; “someone who may get on your nerves, someone who may offend you or someone whom you really wouldn’t choose to spend time with because you’re just complete opposites.” The big challenge for that day was to invite our own “Jesus Project” into our circle; befriend them and spend time with them.
As I read this challenge at 8am on the bus on my way to work, I thought of all the people that I would see throughout the day that are my Jesus Projects. I pictured the long list of people that I don’t like or who irritate me. All are people who God has definitely intentionally put in my life—whether to teach me something about myself or to just plainly teach me how to actually love everyone.
Sometimes just to understand God’s love, I look at each person on the bus and say to myself, God loves you as much as He loves me. And each time, my mind is blown. Because I know that God loves me. God created me in His image, predestined my future, sent His Son to die for me, lights my path and guides my steps. But He also desires to do that to the guy sitting across from me picking his nose?! Or the teenager who clearly didn’t put on deodorant this morning?! Craziness!!!
But God also loves the people that I don’t like. The rude neighbor that bangs every time I use my washing machine and the co-worker who didn’t wash their dishes. And He especially loves the kid in my programs that’s only giving me an attitude and not doing ANYTHING I ask. Yup, God loves them all.
It’s so easy to get caught up in a world where it’s just you and God. He’s just guiding and protecting me and my loved ones. And of course other Christians. But when things don’t work out in my life, I try to remind myself that they did for someone else that God really loves too. When I don’t get a job or when I lose money or I don’t get a great parking space—someone else was really blessed!
I once heard a very amazing man say that Jesus has no hands or feet except for ours.
I know that God loves me because He shows me each and every day through nature, blessings and mostly through others. There have been so many people in my life that have taken the time to be the hands and feet of Jesus by loving even when I’m rude, annoying, and very broken. And I can’t imagine what my life would look like if those people had decided that I was undeserving of their love or that I didn’t deserve to be in their circle.
I’m still in the process of completing this challenge—that must sound terrible, but I still have a lot of work to do on myself before I can. I am hoping that I’ll be able to do it soon. Because everyone, whether I like them or not, deserves God’s love.