I was considering how we love the unlovable, irritating, the foolish, the angry, all those broken, faulty and messy other sons and daughters of the King of King. It is not so easy. After all, how hard can it be to be cleaner, quieter, more sensible, less angry if "those people" want to get along!
But then, we really have no idea how hard or easy it is for another person to do anything. There is an entire social service agency in our metropolitan area that collects personal hygiene and household cleaning supplies because the poorest of the poor can't by so much as a bar of soap with food stamps. For someone struggling with chronic debilitating illness, might they truly be doing the best they can amid confusion, fear, exhaustion or despair? And why does it matter anyway since no where in the Bible are we told to care for the needy "if they are worthy". Instead the Bible is pretty clear that ALL of us have come up short (Romans 3:23).
Only Christ was without sin. So how did He treat those who were struggling, whether with physical limitations or moral choices. First He was the most gentle with the most in fragile and He only showed frustration toward whose who had been blessed and mistook that as permission to lord it over "lesser folks". Second, He did not lecture or moralize at folks, but rather, with ALL He guided, instructed, loved, engaged, tended and, where there was physical infirmity He healed and where there was sin He forgave. I can find not one instance where He mocked or smirked or demeaned...and He was perfect!
So why do we, who are ourselves so broken, error prone and in need of kindness, fail too frequently to offer the smallest acts affirming human dignity for those whose neediness is more visible than our own?
This is why I believe it is so important to balance our turning toward God activities (through Bible study, corporate worship, personal devotions, journaling, meditation or fasting) with our "being hands and feet" activities (visiting the sick and the prisoners, feeding the poor, offering shelter, caring for the widows, the children, the disabled, the elderly, the poor in spirit, loving and caring and doing). Because it is in traveling with, living with, those "others" that we learn how very completely they are us, these our brothers and sisters in Christ.