what i learned from scary people.

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I opened the door to my third story attic room at the maternity home, and I welcomed her in.  She was probably around 7 months pregnant and one of the scariest people I’d ever met.  I offered her the oversized chair and popped up on the window seat.

Then it came.

Like fire out her mouth she started to tell me all the reasons why she hated me.  And this girl had endurance, her speech was at least 45 minutes.  Forty five minutes of why I was a terrible person.

Finally, the last sentence was something to the effect of, “I hate you because you are everything I wanted to be.”

The dam broke.

The root finally exposed.

And until the wee hours of the morning I watched her tough facade crumble, and I felt the very Spirit of God sweep into the room to wrap His arms around His girl.  Man, He LOVES His girls.  Turns out she was the scared one, and oh how He loved this scared girl.

Compassion flooded into my heart, and suddenly I was able to see the most tender parts of this girls hurting heart.  I had access to places that had been behind steel bars for quite sometime.  I don’t remember our exact conversations, but I’ll never forget that she left different.

What I learned that night is…

We often choose to run from or shut out scary people in our lives.  We reason our way out of the relationships.  We have good grounds to create enough boundaries to keep them OUT.  We reject them one more time.

Scary people are usually the ones who need us the most.

Scary people are usually the ones who are hurting the most.

Scary people usually make an “issue” out of something that is really far from the true “issue.”

Scary people are usually broken.

Scary people are usually more scared than the one they are scaring.

We have to really know the truth about who we are to love scary people successfully.

Scary people don’t get to define us, they don’t usually admit who we truly are.

We have to be brave to love scary people.

Our bravery may be the key to their breakthrough.

Unconditional love turns scary people into vulnerable people we can lead to wholeness.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.

The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18

How do you respond to scary people in your life?

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What I learned when the beggar on the corner had a name.

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It was just like a normal Sunday.  The service ended, and we went up front to pray for people.  The second or third person I prayed for was a middle aged normal looking man.  He had gray hair, tall, normal build, and very normal clothes.  Normal, everything about the man seemed normal.  He extended his hand and introduced himself as Randall.

He said, “can you pray for me for financial breakthrough?”.

My pastor has been preaching a sermon on “prosperity with a purpose.”  So this was a common request this week.  I prayed over him.  I prayed for new mindsets and strategies from heaven on how to make income.  He nodded his head, thanked me, and I prayed for the next person in line.

A friend and I went for a walk this morning.  When we got to a light near the bookstore, I looked over and there he was.

Randall.

There he was holding a sign with words I can’t even remember, and my heart sank.  I called out to him, and he complimented me and my friend.  I remembered his name and that seemed to hit him deep.  He smiled.

We made our way across the street, my friend pushed her baby in the stroller, and suddenly “normal” felt so far from this man.  I had to do something.  I reached down for my wallet and grabbed a little cash.  I ran it back across the street to him and prayed a prayer of multiplication over that $5.  He smiled, thanked me, and seemed a bit taken back.

I may never know Randall’s story.  Hours later, he still weighs on my heart.  We are praying for him tonight, that he has a warm bed to sleep in, food in his stomach, and that breakthrough is near.

I live in a town where there an unusual amount of homeless people per capita.  Often I’ve sadly found myself desensitized.  Lately, Jesus has been doing something in my heart.

We grabbed a case of vitamin water and a box of granola bars the other night at Costco.  So we can do something, give something, and believe that the things that pass through our hands are blessed.

We can believe that hearts can shift.

We can have compassion rather than judgement.

We can be generous rather than think we know how they will spend the money.

We can believe that our actions communicate value and love.

We can give because we are generous, not just when someone deserves it.  (Or when we “think” they deserve it.)

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Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.

Proverbs 19:17

Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.

Matthew 5:42