The body lay in the middle of the parking lot, curled in a fetal position. Not moving.
It was Valentine’s Day and one by one, people stepped around the man. Each one hurrying to get that last minute something for the person they love.
I don’t know how long this man was lying in the parking lot, ignored by those capable of helping him. All I know is he was someone worthy of love and attention. And he was ignored, stepped around and stepped over like garbage. Ignored by people who probably assumed he was drunk or high.
He was ignored because it was convenient.
My brother-in-law saw this man. And instead of worrying about being late with the eggs my sister asked him to pick up, he stopped. He saw a person in need and did what comes naturally for him.
And I love that about my brother-in-law.
This man, all alone, lying on the Wal-Mart parking lot, had been in a car accident that day. He thought he was fine and had even been in to Wal-Mart. Upon leaving, however, his back gave out. He was in pain and couldn’t move.
Austin ran into Wal-Mart and got a wheel chair, then stayed with the man until the man’s friend could come and take him to the hospital.
It was a small moment in time for Austin, but for the man, I’m sure he will always remember it. Because when everyone else was rushing to get around the man, my brother-in-law stopped and selflessly gave the most valuable gift a human being can receive – the gift of being acknowledged, of being loved, of being treated like a human.
He showed inconvenient love.
So often, we get into the rush of our lives. We turn a blind eye to the things around us because we’d rather not be bothered. But, how can we refuse to show it?
Christ came to show us love. He DIED to show us His love.
Yet so many times, we refuse love in even the simplest forms, even in the simple question “Are you ok? Do you need help?”
We refuse because we are selfish. We refuse because we are in a hurry.
We need to slow down.
We need to acknowledge.
We need to love, even in the most inconvenient of times and ways.
Austin may never see this man again.
But, he did as he was led.
And he made us proud.
When you see the body on the ground, the soul abandoned and in pain, the lonely eyes of the mother at the park, the child that’s afraid…
Don’t be the one who ignored the man.
Be the one who showed inconvenient love.
Matthew 25:40 (Message)
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.