This article is very cool--a staunch atheist and anti-Christian-activist becomes a Christian after a group of Christians show compassion and help him out. It's the kind of story we shouldn't be surprised by, shouldn't really make the news b/c it should be happening all the time to not be news-worthy, right? Sadly, no. We are all guilty of forgetting Jesus' revised version of the commandments in Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
...and I admit I get angry w/ people/politicians/celebrities and call them names like stupid, unintelligent idiots when they go around bashing Christianity and conservative beliefs and practices and want tolerance from us but won't give any. I get ugly. I show anything but compassion. And it's wrong, and I'm convicted of it. God's been doing a work in my heart about it big time in the last year. I even have a couple democratic friends!
Ok, I said that tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, growing up, I thought there was NO WAY Democrats could believe in Jesus. Republican always = Christian. My eyes have ben opened BIG TIME!
The end of this story is a guy coming to faith in Jesus, not just b/c some people showed his compassion, but b/c GOD did an amazing work in his heart, just like He did in mine. But let's face it--most stories do not end rosy. Most nonbelievers stay in their nonbelief, but Jesus' commandment is still relevant: "Love your enemies."
Lord, help me to show compassion to everyone, to love regardless of beliefs, political views, or associations. Show me how to love outside my comfort zone. Help me not to be a stumbling block to any searching for faith by my lack of compassion toward all men. Give me your eyes to see them as you see them, as sheep without a shepherd. And remind my arrogant heart of where I came from.