I recently attended a memorial service for a woman in our congregation that passed suddenly. The service moved me emotionally, and aside from shedding tears, I felt God move in the church as well. Family members, and lots of people Krystal touched in her lifetime filled our church that evening. At one point, we transitioned to testimonies from individuals Krystal touched. A woman with a disabled son left a heavy imprint on my heart. She explained that she did not know Krystal before this particular day, but Krystal said, “your son is special, isn’t he?” The woman said, “Oh yes, he’s very special.” Krystal responded, “no, I mean he’s special…special just like me.” Krystal suffered from her own disabilities, and when she said “special” she meant that the boy suffered from disabilities like her; not the same disabilities that Krystal suffered from, but she took the opportunity to walk up to the boy and say – paraphrased, of course – “you are incredibly special, your mother loves you very much and she will fight everyday for you, and God loves you, and don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something because of your disability.”
I don’t know many people who can just walk up to someone they don’t know and just delve into telling them about God or do something so amazing as to make this young boy’s day out of nowhere. Unless I’m in the right place and around the right people, I have to really push myself to suddenly initiate conversation about God and faith without some sort of springboard from something we just finished talking about. It’s something I’m working on – I always debate myself on how to approach someone, and think exhaustively about the right thing to say. What I really need to do is just pray for God to steer the conversation and let him take over. The memorial service made it ever clear that Krystal unabashedly preached her love for Christ and wanted other people to be saved. My mom kindly reminds that I would walk around the neighborhood and tell people about God during my younger years. I find it so sad that I cannot remember these moments, and it reminds me how much I love children’s unapologetic way of doing things.
But, this post isn’t about evangelism, it’s about the theme behind Krystal’s memorial service. On top of Krystal’s amazing way of approaching anyone, she learned how to cope with her disabilities and found the beauty in everyone in some way – she loved people from the inside out.
Loving people from the inside out is such a beautiful concept. To approach people without prejudices or biases and generally attempt to see who they are from the inside.
AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’ “The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-32.
Jesus could not have made it anymore clear – love God with everything you have first, and love everyone else, too. The ten commandments mirror this command – 1. you shall have no other gods before Me; 2-10: don’t murder, steal, commit adultery, etc. (all dealings with other people around you – love). Honestly, hate is such a heavy burden. Hate leads to sleeplessness, excessive stress, and worry. It sounds cliché, but let go and let God. God did not design us to hang onto that kind of burden. Instead, let’s learn to LOVE.