A few weeks ago as I was getting into my car, a man came up to me and asked if I had seventy cents. As I don't carry cash with me, I truly didn't have any change to spare. He quickly turned away with my quick response and started walking away. He didn't expect me to give him any money. He had been brushed off many times before, I could tell as soon as the words came out of my mouth. In that split second I realized that I had completely looked at him without seeing him at all, as if he had no value. I quickly reconsidered and asked what he needed the money for, to which he replied that he just wanted something to eat. Since I had no kids with me and McDonald's was a five second drive, I looked him in the eye and told him I'd be happy to go get him something to eat. (Aside to my mother, so I don't get yelled at: I was safely in my car and he was a good distance away, as well as about 130 lbs. soaking wet. At no point was I in any danger. :)) He returned my smile with gratitude and waited in the parking lot as I got him his food. This was an easy situation that cost me nothing, apart from the $5 value meal, but made me think. What if I took that split second to reconsider the value of every person I talked to before responding to them? What if I really saw the people that I interacted with? What if I viewed them as the people of worth that they are, created in the image of God. What if I didn't roll my eyes (on the inside, of course) at the middle school boy acting obnoxious in Sunday school or the high school girl trying too hard to get noticed by boys. What if I just loved them right there in their present situation? What if I didn't cringe at the story of the crotchety old person that thinks the world's problems revolve around whether or not they sing a praise chorus written in 1973. What if I let the people around me not feel like they need to try on another persona in order to have my approval?
What if I let my own guard down and let people see me just the way God created me to be?
What if I loved because I was first loved?
What if we all did this? What could our homes, our churches, our communities look like?