You see that one family walking right toward you at church. The one with the mom who exhausts you, the dad who is socially awkward, and the annoying kids. You don't want to stop so you quickly give a smile and a shallow wave goodbye. You don't have time for "those kind of people". After all, you have brunch with friends planned. Can't be late!
You pass that awful strip club when you're driving to visit a friend. You roll your eyes and think something like, "Those trashy women". You keep driving and later talk to your friend about how unfortunate it is to have that "eye sore" so close to her house.
...but It's not always what you think. There is more, if you would just stop to see...
That sketchy neighborhood, the one you're afraid of...it's full of potential. Yeah. It's full of crime, too. It's stays that way because people like us that have some influence in the community don't get involved. The families living there want change but they don't know how to break the cycle. Oh, the glorious hope that could rise from that 'hood. It's not a ghetto. It's a neighborhood full of neighbors we are commanded to love.
The awkward family, the ones who straight exhaust you...they have no friends. They see people like us sipping our coffee in the church coffee shop and they see us laughing and they see our kids playing together and their heart aches for such acceptance. They are not an interruption to your morning. They are a family reaching out to be accepted, to be invited in, to be loved.
Oh, and then there's that strip club. That run down place you know is just crawling with what you've labeled as "trash". Those women aren't trash. They are daughters and mothers and they are MY SISTERS who are created in the image of Christ.
And the homeless guy downtown. You think he's plain lazy and justify your avoidance. What you don't know is that John was never taught to read, so when you tell him to "go find a job" you don't realize that he can't even fill out an application. He's not lazy. He is illiterate and will remain that way until someone stops to talk to him and learns his story.
It's not always what you think.