‘His only worldly belongings were engulfed in flames. I was worried about where I stuffed the karate coupon.’: After encounter with neighbor, woman urges others to share ‘love and grace’

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“Today, I was traveling down the street listening to my praise and worship music, unaware of the great number of things happening around me. I was still completely wrapped up in myself and finding my way from point A to point B. As I passed the neighbor’s house, he was standing out front. The look of heartbreak and defeat sent my heart deep into my stomach. There stood that man, alone, assessing what was left of his only worldly belongings. I am so small.

You see I have watched this man for months. He is different than me. He is different in a way that made me uncomfortable at times with his strange lifestyle. I knew him. I didn’t know his name. But I knew he had little. I had suspicions that he had battles, and I was certain he had little by way of necessary items. And yesterday, while — what I assume were — his only worldly belongings were engulfed in flames, I was worried about how I was going to get home and where I had stuffed the karate coupon.

As I passed his gaunt body today, it struck me. He is the child of God. The same God who breathes life into him, breathes life into me. And while his world was burning, I didn’t even think to help. To be honest, he didn’t even cross my mind. No matter how questionable his life choices may be, I am called to show him love and grace. And all I could muster was placing him on the list of inconveniences I encountered in my day.

Today, I am thankful for a God who continues to pursue me, even when quite frankly, I don’t deserve it. And I am humbled to know how small I am in the grand scheme, yet motivated by the daily opportunities He gives me to do better, be better, and carry the light. I am also grateful He loved me enough to smack my big, stupid face today and wake me up out of my self-absorbed coma. There are many days when it is truly all I can do to get through the day. However, I am called. He has a job for me to do. Some days it is inside of my family. Some days it is not. I have to be able to see the difference. I have to step out of myself. My days are wild and wacky, this is certain. But that is no excuse for complacency in Christianity. We are responsible. Love to you all.

Shalom.”

Courtesy of Jade Nadile

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Jade Nadile. You can follow her journey on her website. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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