A couple of years ago, I had a life changing encounter with a homeless lady – unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Nothing crazy happened, but in my heart I knew I would be changed. I experienced the love of Jesus coming upon me so thick for a stranger, looking through the lens of her story, and seeing her completely with the eyes of love.
I was getting out of my car to fill up my gas tank, rushing to get to the next place I needed to be, when a lady ran up to me as fast as she could yelling
“Beautiful! Beautiful! Hey you! Yea you! Hey I need a ride!”
I must admit, my first inclination was to instantly write her off – to not give her the time of day. It was obvious this woman was intoxicated, on her drug of choice, and was potentially dangerous.
As I was standing there though, staring at the lady (Brenda) and listening to her story, something supernatural came over me. I was no longer seeing Brenda at face value. I started to see deep into her eyes as God took me into a compassionate download of her story.
I saw a beautiful high school teenager getting the attention of any man she wanted; leading to a misplaced security in the wrong men and the wrong crowd. Before she knew it she headed down a slippery-slope; the slope that quickly led to her endless addiction to crack. I saw a woman who longed to be loved, but had learned to get what she wanted through advertisement of her beauty. And though her sun-drenched skin was wrinkled and her beauty was fleeting, I found myself with an overwhelming amount of love for who she was; inside and out.
For a moment, I started to get choked up.
I was reminded of the adulterous woman mentioned in Scripture. Jesus opened my heart to feel a fraction of what He must have felt when he approached that adulterous woman. I can only imagine the weight of compassion He felt as he looked into her eyes. She was His beloved one, His uniquely designed and cherished child who hadn’t a clue how loved she really was. She was so lost; so confused; so heart broken, and had nowhere to turn. The best part was though, that Jesus KNEW it was all over – that she would walk away from Him changed completely. That day, the adulterous woman was marked by the love of Christ, and she was never the same.
Jesus then helped me to see the woman standing before me, Brenda, through His eyes. In total faith, I believe that Jesus made this day the same kind of life changing day for Brenda; just as the adulterous woman. After listening to her story and giving her a ride to where she needed to be, I looked into her eyes telling her she was loved by God. That’s it. I didn’t preach to her. I didn’t condemn her. I just told her she was loved.
And there we sat with Brenda crying in my car, for a solid thirty minutes, as years of feeling rejected and unwanted were supernaturally healed. It was as if years of inner healing happened in the emotional and spiritual realm in this short span of time.
Loving like Jesus requires us to we see people through the lens of their stories. Jesus moves out of compassion for His people, seeing every little detail of their lives. He has been in every detail and knows the roots behind every heart, more than we could ever know ourselves. Let us remember, there’s a story behind every face; a story that desperately needs compassion and hope.
Jesus doesn’t believe that anyone is a lost cause – and neither should we.