My mom forgot she was married.
I went to visit my parents, and for a brief moment my mother left the room. That's the only time my dad has to tell me how she's doing. And he told me, quickly, of two particularly bad incidents where my mom was just utterly confused. Alzheimers bites.
But, somehow, by the grace of God working in my life, this post isn't about my mother.
I swallowed a lot back when I listened to his stories, but the thing that sticks with me besides my compassion for her because she hates feeling confused - is compassion for him. I can't imagine marrying someone, sharing 30 years of your life, and having them wake up confused because they forgot they married you.
It would be easy to simply say my dad and I don't get along. He thinks I've got shady values, and I think he's hurt a lot of people I love. But despite that, in the face of his news, I can only feel compassion. This is where God does things backwards.
It rains on the just and the unjust He says, and we all sorrow when it rains on the just. But when the drug addict loses his home, contracts aids, or finds himself in the hospital who weeps for him? When the lady that spread rumors about you and made your life a living nightmare finds out that her husband cheated on her who holds her hand and offers her a shoulder to cry on? When the guy that tailgated you before flipping you off and passing you is on the side of the highway 5 miles down the road with a flat tire who pulls over to help? Do we simply nod as though life has only issued justice? Or do we sorrow for these people with hurts and fears, and broken hearts?
The bible says people would die for a good man, so what does it gain us that we're able to say we'd lay down our lives for a good person. It's when we do things Christ backwards. We love the jerks, the creeps, the thieves, the drug addicts, the parents you hate, the brother or sister you're holding a grudge against and haven't spoken to in 5 years, the inlaws that still haven't accepted you, the child who you feel brought shame on the family, the neighbor that just keeps annoying you...
Those are the ones Christ wants you to feel for, those are the ones Christ wants to stir your heart. The ones who we don't just "say" we love. But the ones who touch our heart and grieve us for their souls, we weep for their brokenness and pain. Those are the ones we open our homes, and our lives, and our life saving knowledge of Jesus Christ to.
It's a different kind of love that God wants us to spread. A love that surprises the bitter by it's beauty. A love that surprises the angry by it's fluid peace. A love that loves the unhuggable, the walled off, the world hardened, the sin battered.
It's Gods love.
But if we say we've got Gods love in our hearts, we need to give it to those He'd give it to. Not just our preference.
It's Christ backwards.