“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.” —John 13:34-35
Something very sweet happened the other day to my sister—a little unexpected—but it warmed my heart. She was assigned to go to an Islamic Mosque Center for class; upon arriving the students heard the hymn of a Muslim over the intercom. A man eventually greeted them and beckoned them to their place of worship.
Everyone is capable of love
Following the man, was a little boy who apparently wouldn’t stop smiling and toying at my sister. When it was time for worship, the most adorable thing happened. Once bending over, the little boy peeked his head through his legs awkwardly and smiled at her. The father, whom had greeted them, while still faced toward the ground, had moved his head and put it against his sons’. He kissed him. Perhaps, he was too young to realize that gravity of praying to Allah.
An elderly gentleman picked up the same little boy and kissed him repeatedly, making the boy giggle.
Amid worship, the one thing my sister took away from this while trying hard not to smirk at the little boy, was this: love is truly universal and everyone is capable of love.
And it struck me, everyone is deserving of love and anyone is capable of love.
A while back, I probably would have seen things differently as my calloused heart could only allow. But now, I realize that my shallow indifference towards another religion or even this man and his son’s worshiping to Allah, is not showing the love of Christ to everyone as His Word instructs us to.
God tells us to love anyways
Upon hearing her story, I couldn’t help but smile at the ways God opens our hearts more and more to loving everyone as opposed to choosing whom I should love.
God doesn’t pick and choose who to love amongst us. Romans 2:11 says, “For God does not show favoritism.” I don’t see how I ever could have.
Yes, we may not agree with people of different religious backgrounds. We won’t agree with a lot of people in this realm.
Yet, our love should never cease as Christ’s love never has and never will. This is how we share and grow in our discipleship together; this is how little boys, such as the darling son of the praying man, grow up to wonder what it was in my sister that made him smile so much.
“Let brotherly love continue.” —Hebrews 13:1
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When was a time when God called you to love someone despite your differences?