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20 Responses

  1. Nonnie says:

    I work in city centre and everyday see the “street people.” Folks that, in this nanny state, could live in a free bedsit, have food and not have to live on the street. They choose to live there and take the consequences of life on the street. I see them fight with one another over their dogs, curse at one another. I see the black eyes and swollen faces from being beat up in a fight the night before.
    But the Lord has taught me to also see that man or woman as someone’s child…..a person for who Christ died.
    It’s amazing how a bag of donuts and a litre of milk, given in the name of Jesus, can turn a foul mouthed and snarling man into a smiling and grateful man……a man created in the image of God.

  2. PP Vet says:

    The way I like to deal with people like that is to say in my heart, “Nice try, but You’re not fooling me one bit with that disguise, Lord.”

  3. Sarah says:

    “There are no ordinary people.
    You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures,
    arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to
    ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we
    joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—
    immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” C.S. Lewis.

    This quotation always comes to mind when I read stories like your, Michael. I am not very good at keeping at the forefront of my thoughts when I am encountering the obnoxious or the frustrating…but the fact that we are all eternal, and we ar all image bearers of the Creator, those facts should stagger me daily.

    Thanks for the reminder, Michael…that even beyond being image bearers and eternal being, there are angels about us as well. Praying for your vision to be clear today to know when you are encountering one you need to embrace and when you are encountering one you need to be wise about, and praying for largeness of your heart for those that need the embrace.

  4. Em says:

    amen to the applications given and the nudge to my conscience … but the verse quoted urges hospitality and the struggling, clueless old coot got that from Michael, did he not?
    more than likely he left the store feeling good about himself – may the blessing redound today

  5. nomans says:

    Amen! Excellent word.

  6. Paige says:

    There was a pic of an ‘angel’ in disguise as a mohawked street person on Facebook yesterday…. I liked it
    Also, yesterday, as I mused about someone I don’t ‘like’….I remembered that little phrase about being kind because everyone is fighting some kind of battle…… true.

    Love how God bugs us when our perceptions of how He is working is skewed. 🙂

  7. Em says:

    Paige, amen and that’s another nudge to my spiritual awareness – thank you

  8. Josh Hamrick says:

    Michael and I would get along well. We’d sit silently on opposite sides of the room, but we’d enjoy it.

  9. FWIW – in defense of clueless old coots … 🙂
    my late mother worked for a good part of her adult life, most of it in retail – she was the one who came when a dissatisfied customer demanded to see the manager – her two least favorite customers were military officers’ wives and preachers wives for their mindless, arrogant sense of entitlement (she lived and worked in a town where those two categories were two of the main industries) – but there were wonderful exceptions contributing to great stories in both of those categories also

  10. Somehow your description of angels leaves me a little less than enthusiastic but your definition of hospitality made up for it…

  11. j2theperson says:

    When I was in my teens I discovered that if you are an attractive female (or maybe just a female–I don’t know), if you treat people pleasantly and politely and don’t dismiss them because of their physical appearance, a good number of men will take that basic politeness as a sign that you are sexually attracted to them.

    I also feel that, as a female, there were heightened expectations put on me to be nice to everybody and to put others’ needs and wishes ahead of mine.

    If I had been interacting with that man, I might not have been as nice to him as you were because (a) some men can be really creepy when a woman is too polite to them and (b) at this point in my life I think that I should be treated politely and with respect also and shouldn’t have my dignity pushed aside for the needs of other people.

  12. j2theperson says:

    I also don’t think it would have been unchristian of you to politely to take a step back and not invade your personal space. Just because he was a customer and you are a christian doesn’t mean you need to be his doormat. There are some basic rules surrounding interacting with people in this society that that guy wasn’t following and he should have.

  13. j2theperson says:

    **to politely to take a step back***

    Oops. I meant “to politely ASK HIM to take a step back”.

  14. Em says:

    jlo, your point is well taken – the flip side of being nice and polite can get you another (unjustified) label or two 🙂

  15. j2theperson says:

    Oh no! I’ve been labelled as jlo but I’m really J2. 😛

  16. Em says:

    j2, sorry bout that … i do know which of you is which (i often used to call my dear son by the dog’s name, tho – when i was scolding him) a rare form of dislexia maybe?

  17. Paul A. Lytton says:

    J2 , Re: your #11

    You stated, ”….if you treat people pleasantly and politely and don’t dismiss them because of their physical appearance, a good number of men will take that basic politeness as a sign that you are sexually attracted to them.”

    I am a man and I agree with you because I am guilty of this (to some degree). I think it is a little deeper than that though. IMO, FWIW, there is a stronger natural instinct for men to look for a woman to desire him than for a woman to look for a man to desire her. We are different breeds. Women are Childbearing and obtain a gift of caring. Men are basically warriors and can better understand battle than kindness. When a woman sees the warrior in a man, she takes it to also be possibly applied to her as much as a man sees a caring woman to be applying her care to him. Granted, men have more difficulty than women to have the same type of friendship between different sexes.

    You also said, “…I also feel that, as a female, there were heightened expectations put on me to be nice to everybody and to put others’ needs and wishes ahead of mine.”
    IMO again, I think you place a lot of the burden on yourself. The only expectations you have to be nice to anyone and put others’ needs (not necessarily wishes) ahead of yours, is those for your children.

    My main point here is that I hope you no longer feel this way and are content in understanding that all people are different than other people. Men people are even more different than women people.

    God bless you.

  18. CaptainKevin says:

    Amen, Michael! I help out with a street ministry on a fairly regular basis. Leading worship and preaching are enjoyable, but the most rewarding part for me is just hanging out with the people, eating and talking.

  19. oops, in moderation cuz I didn’t put a space in my moniker.

  20. covered says:

    Wow Michael, this is one of my favorite things I’ve read from you. Thank you.

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