Remembering the “Human” in Humanity

In the past few minutes I have come across several comments on Facebook about the death of singer Amy Winehouse.  Most of theses comments have been somewhat sarcastic in nature, pointing out her drug and alcohol abuse.  My cousin-in-law, Mark Whitaker, posted a comment that made me stop and think.  Instead of stating the obvious drug addiction issues Amy had, the comment pointed out her connection to us all:  she was one of God’s  creations.  Each of us stands within a hair’s breadth of being in the same situation.  When we see a person so immersed in a destructive lifestyle it is easy to jump in with, “Well, saw that one coming” instead of “I wish she could have experienced God’s endless love.”

Because that’s the bottom line.  God loves each one of us beyond what our minds can comprehend.  And he weeps over every soul on this earth that, for whatever reason, is unable or unwilling to accept that love.

Today’s news of this tragic death should challenge us to take every opportunity to live out and demonstrate God’s love to EVERY SINGLE person we come in contact with today and everyday.  This doesn’t mean saying, “God loves you!” to everybody.  It means living out God’s love.

My favorite story that demonstrates how to do this is about St. Francis of Assisi and one of his apprentices.  They went into a town one day to preach the gospel of Christ.  Upon entering the village they encountered a sick family in need of food, so St. Francis fed them.  As they continued their journey they were repeatedly met with human needs and St. Francis addressed each one.  At the end of the day as they were leaving the town, the apprentice said to St. Francis, “We did not preach a sermon.  I thought we came here to preach the gospel.”  St. Francis responded, “Preach the gospel everywhere you go.  Use words when necessary.”

God’s love is to be shouted at people through actions that speak louder than words.  I am saddened that Amy Winehouse and  thousands of others like her haven’t experienced enough pure love and compassion to convince them of how very, very, very much they are loved.  I challenge you to make it your mission to change the world, one person at a time, through love.

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