We find it hard to want to Bless other people, you know those drivers who cut you off or change lanes without signaling; what about that one that stole the parking spot you had been patiently waiting for?
What about those grouchy, miserable people you run across at the store, at work, at school or just about anywhere?
Oh come on, admit it, you did not want to offer blessings their way….
I was at the movie the other night, the movie was “Same Kind of Different as Me”. I really loved it, an awesome movie based on a true story. The movie digs into some things that often people would love to forget: racism, homelessness, pride and prejudice.
But if I had to give a one word answer what the movie was about – I would say: Love.
Love: the little word and actions that can change the entire world.
There was one line in the movie that penetrated into my thought processes and there it remains.
Man is escorting his drunk alcoholic father to the car after his father had been rude and obnoxious to his family at the dinner table. The man tells his father that he never wants to see him again as he shuts the door after him.
The other guest on the stairs watching the scene says, “God bless him” as he watches the man’s father drive away.
The man looks at the guest and say’s there is nothing good in his father.
The guest looks after the car and comments, “There is a kind man hiding deep down there. Sometimes you just have to Bless the Hell Out of Them.”
Oh I love that phrase – WE (you and me) have to Bless The Hell Out of Them!
For starters, we cannot change anyone, but God can and do you know how God does it? He loves them and He Blesses the Hell right smack out of them - it wins every time.
Love always wins. People do not stand a chance when you love them.
When we were in Richmond, Virginia we came across a couple of people who needed a little lovin’:
We were waiting for the trolley to come and pick us up for a citywide trolley tour. As my friend and I were standing on the sidewalk, a middle aged man approached us. He came up to us and said that he was embarrassed but he wondered if he could ask us if he could borrow $11. He was in town to work on a movie, he was the assistant director and not a bum asking for money, he had just left his wallet at the hotel by mistake. He promised to pay us back. He had a passport to show us that he went to the Caribbean every winter and he was fully employed, just was in need of $11. (I am still wondering why $11 – it is such an odd number). His story went on for at least ten minutes. My friend and I were fully engaged over his story, we tried to avoid eye contact with each other as it caused the corners of our mouths to start to develop into a possible giggle.
Now that might sound mean (the giggle) but from our perspective the man was trying “way too hard” to convince us that he was not a panhandler. His lengthy liturgy was a bit of overkill to the situation. His shoes did not portray the look of a working man, nor did his teeth or at least the ones he still had.
We listened intently to his story and at the end of it (I had already decided what I was going to do) but I told him that we had listened patiently to his story and now he could listen to ours. I proceeded to give him the short version of how God loved him. He absolutely rose to the occasion and then graced us with another 10 minutes of how much he loved God, went to Sunday school as a child, every Bible story and scripture he could remember – it was truly awesome.
I laughed when he came to the end and took out a $20 and handed it to him with the words – “Here you go, God told me to give you a $20 a long time ago”. He looked concerned and then asked me where would I be tomorrow so that he could pay me back – I again laughed and told him he did not have to as long as he would remember that God loved him. He said that was easy and off he sauntered.
Another day as we were roaming the streets of Richmond looking for a restaurant for lunch and noticing that so many of the stores and businesses were closed and empty I approached a young black lady in her early twenties, her name was Aketa. I asked her why so many businesses were shut down. She told us that economics in Richmond were not good. It was then that I noticed her sign beside her that said “out of work”, she was looking for donations. I had totally missed the sign, but that was fine with me and we continued our conversation. She informed us that in order to “panhandle” in Richmond you had to have a permit, they only allow so many panhandlers in the city and yes you paid for the permit (seriously!). If the police came around and you did not have a permit they whisked you off to jail – which I mean, go figure, they are going to feed and shelter you in there anyways, so what is the problem? The whole thing seems silly to me.
We talked for quite a while with this young lady and left her with some money and a Bible. She was so elated over the Bible she jumped up and hugged us. She blessed us probably more than we blessed her.
Love is free and we can offer it at any time to anyone we come into contact with – why not give it a try today and see if you can Bless the Hell Out of Somebody today! It will probably make a great story!