My friend, Tina, stopped by for a visit yesterday, and told me a story that brought tears to my eyes.
I’ve written before about her son Josh, who has Aspergers. He’s a trip, and there’s never a dull moment at the Robbin’s house. Josh calls it like he sees it. If you’re fat? He’ll probably say you’re fat. However, according to him, “Some women just look better with a little meat on their bones.”. Josh certainly doesn’t discriminate when it comes to appreciating the ladies! If you’re old? He’ll call you out on that too! Like the time we took him bowling with the church group, and he said to this lady, “I’m surprised an old lady like you would even want to go bowling.” Most of the time, he’ll laugh and say, “I’m just kidding. But it’s true!” Hilarious stuff!
He loves most every person he meets. He hugs everyone, or shakes their hand, and sincerely wants to know how they’re doing. If you’re really pretty, or have an ample bosom, you might even get more than one hug, and a kiss on the head! Like I said, like every other heterosexual man, Josh LOVES the ladies! There’s just a slight filter issue, or lack thereof. 🙂
When he was little, Tina said that he loved everyone, and never met a stranger. She told me about a crippled man, named Ronnie, who sat outside the grocery store with a bucket for donations.
Ronny was a black man, with no arms or legs. Just a head and a torso. Someone would lay him on his stomach, on a mat, where I guess he’d stay until they came and picked him up. I’m sure a lot of people would walk by Ronnie as if he weren’t there. Maybe someone would drop coins in his bucket as they walked by, never looking him in the eyes. Some people, like Josh’s little brother Tyler, was scared of Ronnie. Some may have even been annoyed, or disgusted by him; but not Josh. Josh never noticed that Ronnie didn’t have arms or legs, all Josh saw was a person. He’d run over to him, squat down and cup Ronnie’s face with his chubby, little hands, looking him dead in the eyes, and talk to him. Ronnie’s face would light up, and so would Josh’s.
I’m so good at loving lovable people. That’s easy. But, I want to love like Josh. I want to look at people the way he looked at Ronnie. I want to look past people’s imperfections, and see the God-created person. I want to not be afraid to touch them, and talk to them. I want to love people, ALL people, the way Josh loved Ronnie. Why? Because that’s how Jesus loves us!
Josh interacting with Ronnie is a perfect picture of God’s love! God doesn’t see our imperfections. He’s not disgusted by our sins. He looks at us with the eyes of love, cups our faces in His hands, looks us in the eyes, and sees us as a beautiful person, made in His image. Oh to love like that!
Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God—for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8