A Pastor's wife told me this story today about something that happened in her church that day.
A lady in her church - (I'll call her Anita for this story) has a severe drug problem. So severe that her brain has been effected and her whole life revolves around drugs. She just won't or isn't able to give up that habit. A complete and utter addict. It's so bad that when someone sleeps with her and gets her pregnant, her babies are taken away from her pretty much as soon as she has them, and put into foster care. The children's services intervene immediately because this woman can barely take care of herself, let alone an infant.
Two weeks ago Anita had another baby. And for a few days she had her baby to cuddle and feed and bond with. Then it was taken away by children's services to go through some sort of detox program and then put into the foster system.
Anita was in church this morning. And she cried and mourned all the way through the service. Afterwards, she went up to the Pastor's wife and asked her to pray that she will get her baby back. The rest of the congregation turned their nose up at her. Judging her. Staring at her dirty clothes, dirty body, smelling her filth... and all giving the impression that they thought the woman deserved every single thing that she got. Ewww a drug addict. She smells. She won't give it up. Serves her right.
The Pastor's wife, with tears in her eyes, pulled Anita into her arms, stroked her greasy hair and tried to comfort her as much as she could. "Anita, I'll pray that you get the help that you need and pray for strength for you." The Pastor's wife ignored the filth, the smell and sin that binds this woman so tightly - and offered her compassion and prayer.
I was blown away by this story. It's a true one by the way.. I was horrified at the actions of some of these "Christians". How does one forget that we don't have to actually identify with the sin, but we have to show compassion to the sinner? How does one think, "I am better than she is, because I don't do drugs etc etc. I am clean, I read my Bible..." How can one forget where God bought us from? How can we all forget that ALL have sinned, and that no one sin is worse than others? The sin of judgement and gossip is just as bad as the sin of child molestation, rape and drug addictions.
What would Jesus do?? Well let's look at what Jesus DID! - Not once did he identify with the sin. Do you know why? Because Jesus was the Perfect Lamb.
1 Peter 2:22 says, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." 1 John 3:5 says, ". . . And in him is no sin."
Jesus didn't have to identify with the sin, but he showed deep compassion to the sinner. Matthew 9:36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them,
He spent time with sinners and showed them love. He healed them. He taught them a better way.
If Jesus was here, he would have pulled Anita into his arms, filth and all, and just loved her.
I want to be like Jesus.
Dear Lord, forgive me for the times that I have walked on by someone in need. Help me to show the compassion that you showed to all of us. Thankyou for forgiving me and saving me and showing me compassion when I least deserve it. Help me to do the same to the people around me.
Thankyou for your never ending Grace.