Picture this: You’re on a dark street late at night and a man approaches you to ask for money to buy food. You offer him some of the dinner you’re carrying home: a bread roll and potato salad. He accepts the bread and tells you to keep the potato salad because “you must’ve had a taste for it” to buy it.
What would you do?
I admit to being a bit conflicted. Part of me wanted to insist he take the salad or offer to buy him something else instead, but the larger part of me was happy to be able to enjoy my potato salad that night and continue on my way home.
It crossed my mind over the next couple of days, that that stranger, the hungry man on the street who appeared to be homeless, exhibited more love towards me in that simple selfless statement than most people I’ve encountered in life.
Where was the love? I offered him what I had and he gave it back.
Isn’t that the simplest expression of love?
Sure it’s possible he didn’t like potato salad. Or perhaps he wasn’t really hungry and simply preferred money. I don’t know and I really don’t have the heart to be jaded in this instance, because what I do know from experience is that people take what they don’t need all the time with no consideration for what they are depriving the giver of. I’ve given to people with far less need who have squandered my offering, dismissed and ignored me then flipped my offering nonchalantly to others with no thought of what I sacrificed in order to give to them.
Such a simple thing, potato salad. But how profound is that a beggar gave my food back to me simply because he perceived it was a special treat for me?
I see God in this because He waits for us to return His love to Him. He waits every day, in every moment of opportunity for us to give to Him as He has given to us. But even the most earnest Believers are guilty of forgetting to acknowledge our Father’s sacrifice. We dishonor His love and desert our commission when we disrespect, neglect, and reject His people, each other, the world He gave His only Son for.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! ~ John 13:34-38