Read Devotion #16 in Come With Me Devotional
Today’s guest blog post is from one of my favorite people. Jodie Barrett is a speaker, writer, and co-contributor of the book, Everyday Thanksgiving. She’s also a leader on the LFT Ministries Community team. I love this honest post today. It’s crazy how much has changed, and yet how fear still separates people. Let’s accept the invitation to see people the way Jesus does. That’s a faith-changing choice. ~ Suzie
One floor below me was the unknown.
I walked down the dark stairway one floor onto the general medicine floor of our hospital. As an orthopedic nurse I was accustomed to caring for post-surgical patients that came quickly, healed quickly, and went home.
The medical floor below me was a different scene.
Patients laid lifeless in their beds dying of HIV. It was the nineties. At the time there were so many unknowns and most knew just enough to be afraid. Stepping into the first patient’s room, I saw for myself how the virus took life and turned healthy bodies into hollow shells — almost as if to prove the fear-driven rumors true. I wasn’t certain how to respond and if I am completely honest I wanted to run back up the dark stairway and fast.
Instead, I swallowed hard and began to touch and talk with the man who couldn’t speak. I rubbed his fragile limbs and turned him to a position I thought may be comfortable. I called the doctor because I didn’t know how to best care for his needs.
Jesus invites us to see people the way he does.
What unknown elicits fear in you?
Approaching the homeless? Assisting a stranger on the side of the road? Offering a hug to a stranger that looks, on every level, different from you?
Have you ever listened to conversations that formed an opinion or caused you to shy away from approaching someone that needs a comforting touch of another’s embrace?
Jesus embraced all and He still does today.
He embraces people where they are, sin soaked, and offers cleansing forgiveness. We are not Jesus, but he invites us to be his hands and feet. The number one obstacle that stands in most of our way is fear.
I was afraid many years ago walking down those stairs and fear stirs in me now when I see opportunities to embrace others that on the surface appear different.
In today’s devo, Suzie shares a simple prayer.
“Jesus, help us see people more than skin-deep. Help us see them as you do.”
Simple, but powerful.Jesus embraces people where they are, sin soaked, and offers cleansing forgiveness. #ComeWithMeDevo http://wp.me/p4jbdw-4p6 Click To Tweet
Recognizing that we often know just enough to be afraid is the first step to overcoming our fear.
Couple that with asking Jesus to empower us and we push through fear to courage. Seeing as Jesus sees helps us respond as he responds. Throwing off our fears opens doors to embrace others that need to feel the love of Christ displayed.
My good friend and ministry partner lovingly tells others that she only has one thing to offer. That one thing is Jesus. Oh goodness, isn’t that simply the greatest thing to offer? When we reach out to touch the one that others have cast aside, we offer Jesus.
Then Jesus can do the rest.
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NLT)
Reach out to others, in spite of your fears. Embrace someone. Grasp their hand and just hold it when no one else will.
What might this look like?
It could be sitting in a nursing home with the one that no one visits. It could be stopping on the road to give a bag of food to someone in need. Perhaps it is speaking to someone in the grocery store about who Jesus is and how he has touched your life.
Yesterday it was kneeling down to look a grieving man in the eye, holding his hand, and simply listening. The opportunities will present themselves we just need to be open to overcoming our fear and offering Jesus.
Let’s accept this invitation.
Jesus, help us see people more than skin-deep. Help us see them as you do.
21 Life Changing Invitations as We Walk With Jesus
Invitation #16: See people like Jesus does
If you are under the age of 30, the fear of someone who has AIDS may seem impossible. Yet three decades ago, fear invaded the hearts of people. It separated and divided. Today there are many things that separate us. I won’t list them. Instead, I’ll call out the dividing force — fear.
It’s what we don’t know, which is why I love this guest post. Jodie pushed aside preconceived notions and tangibly cared for a man who needed care. When she did this, she broke down barriers to serve as the hands of Christ.
- What is one barrier that keeps you from loving people like Jesus does? Let’s pray about that together.
We are invited to love others, but we are also invited to be loved. Jesus reaches to love us, whether our condition is skin-deep, where all can see, or hidden in the deep places in our soul. One touch and we are cleansed and made whole.
- Today, reach to love others like Jesus did, but also accept his love for you — right where you are.
Get to know Jodie Barrett
Jodie Barrett partners with her friend, Donna, to minister to women through Faithfully Following Ministries.
This beautiful woman is just as lovely on the inside. She’s fun. She’s not afraid to get in the trenches of ministry, climb a zipline and soar through the air (I saw her do it!), or cheer women on as they faithfully follow Jesus.
Giveaway of EveryDay Thanksgiving package!
Jodie is giving away a fun gift package with her book, and mine, and some other fun items to one lucky person. Comment here or on her blog (or both for extra measure) to be entered to win!