What happens if I radically love everyone?

If you have not read my bio yet, then you probably don’t know much about me. That’s okay, but what you do need to know for this post is that I am a 23-year-old woman working with teenage refugee boys at Bethany Christian Services. I’d like to share with you what I have learned about humility, serving, and more specifically humbly serving the undeserving.

I started my job about a year ago and I’ll be honest I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I remember applying to a lot of places with a lot of vague job descriptions and this job was one of them. In the interview I was asked if I would be comfortable being a young woman working with teenage boys for 30 hours a week. Obviously I said yes because I was fresh out of my bachelor’s degree and just really needed a job. So I confidently told my now boss, “Yeah, totally”. Next thing I knew, I was starting my first day.

Because the boys were all refugees who fled their countries due to life threatening circumstances, and because we so graciously accepted them into our country…I expected the boys to be extremely humble, grateful, and have the utmost respect for all of us. In reality, I was faced with ungrateful, proud, angry, disrespectful, and hurting people, and I was totally thrown off by it.

One year later, I’m still baffled by the way I’m treated sometimes at work. I’m verbally attacked, objectified, devalued almost every day. I have been told that I’m “hated”, I’m “unattractive”, I’m “stupid”… you name it.

My friends often ask why I stay at my job. My only answer is Jesus.

I was made for this job. At this point of my life, it’s one of the few things I am 100% sure of. I’m sure because I’m really good at my job and because my job is really good for me. Through this job, Jesus has taught me how to love better and how much better He loves. Let me tell you, it’s really hard to love and serve others who treat you like crap.Why would I want to serve anyone who doesn’t deserve it? Why would Jesus want to die on the cross for people who don’t deserve it?

Jesus is the reason I’m so good at my job and the reason I stay at my job. What I’ve learned this past year about serving the undeserving is too hard to put into words, but I can tell you this…if you want to learn more about the love of our Heavenly Father, be a servant.

More specifically, be a servant to the undeserving. To the people who hate you, wrong you and have nothing to give you in return. Serve them and show them the faithful love of our Father.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you,Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Matthew 5:43-44

What’s the love of our Father like? It’s unconditional, faithful, patient, merciful and gracious. So ours should be too.

”The one who says he abides in Him ought himself towalk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

I can promise you that this love is like nothing you have ever known and it is far too powerful not to change you. I don’t know how or if my decision to keep coming back and serving in spite of all the ridicule has influenced these boys, but it’s changed my heart and helped me to fall more in love with Jesus.

“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,Yet He did not open His mouth;Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Just like Jesus on His way to the cross, I will humble myself and remain silent in light of the disrespect. I will display for these boys an up close and personal reenactment of history’s most incredible story. In my silent service they will hear God’s love screaming from the heavens.

To sum it up, what I’ve learned is this: you don’t have to love someone to serve them, but you do have to serve someone in order to truly love them.

“You my Brothers and Sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13

After one year of working with Bethany, I was on my way to the kitchen with a boy and as we waited in silence for the elevator to take us down to our dinner, the boy looked up at me as if his eyes had just been opened for the first time and said, “You care about me. You care about me because you help me.” I smiled in pleasant surprise and replied, “Yes, I do.”

My friends, I can assure you that your service in the name of Jesus is not in vain.

Father, teach us more about love. Teach us how to love. Give us the courage to radically love others even at our own expense. Teach us to lay our lives down for our enemies as Christ did for us. Thank you for what you did. We didn’t deserve it. Amen.

You may also like