That’s how my husband and I were introduced. “So and so, meet Kelly and Emanuel, they’re renters.”
Yes. We are.
We’ve been renters off and on throughout our lives. God’s called us left and right, North and South, East and West — we’ve gone everywhere. We’ve been called to do certain things, no matter the cost. I try not to be ashamed about who I am, our calling or our present situation…
…but the way this person introduced me, unsettled me. Not only this, the woman seemed to avoid saying hi to me after finding out we were “renters.” I wondered why she didn’t stop to talk at all. Yet, after her introduction, it all made sense.
We’re renters. She’s right.
When I got home, her words kept on repeating in my mind, “They’re renters.”
Declaring my worth.”They’re renters.”
Slighting us. “They’re renters.”
Proclaiming the totality of who I am. “They’re renters.”
Summarizing my inadequacy. “They’re renters.”
Circling my lack of worthiness. “They’re renters.”
I began to get upset at her. How can a person judge someone based on where they live?
Yet, almost a split-second before I finished this internal question, it was as if God had a comeback, “Kelly, how often do you look at yourself as better-off than the homeless person you see on the street? Just because you have a home. . . ”
Oh my goodness! I am just like this woman. Subconsciously, I feel better-off, more worthy, more together, more valuable and more blessed, than a lesser-person. Why? Solely, because I live in a home and sleep in a bed — and not on a sidewalk.
Forgive me, Father, so often, I know not what I do. If I was at a party, I’d probably steer clear of the stinky, lowly homeless woman who is unable to give me anything too.
“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Cor. 1:28)
All this gets me to thinking. . . this season, as we sit around the Christmas table — what if we let go of classifications? Immediate judgments? Old gripes because we’ve been wrongly classified?
The hard-to-face-fact is, many times: we’re just as guilty, in our own right. And, just as we want to be loved for who we are, so do others. We all want — a chance to change. Let’s afford others the ability to walk into new ground. We never know someone’s background.
Pray with me:
God, today we let bygones be gone by the blood of Jesus. We acknowledge — our deep roots of love, in you, make us strong enough to withstand the effects of hard-to-love people. We choose to honor them, Jesus, just as you honored us on the cross. We never deserved it, but still, you did it. You teach us how to rise above. Pour out grace. Teach us. Grow us. And may we never put ourselves above others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.