How to Love The Unlovable
The unlovables’, you might as well say the untouchables, people who are on the fringes of our society or its functions. Most of us immediately think of the panhandler on the corner, holding a piece of cardboard with some statement about being hungry and if you could spare some change.
And yes, these are people who would be considered by all societal standards to be the unwanted among us, the unlovables. But are they the only ones?
No, in fact every social circle has a person who, by all the same societal standards, is an unlovable person, outcast either by choice or by circumstance to walk their existence largely unnoticed and unappreciated. It’s that one person who goes off to lunch at work by themselves, the one who is quiet and reserved. It’s the person that always looks down when you pass them in the hallway.
It almost seems that we are more willing to give attention to the panhandler on the corner than a person we see every day, we think nothing of them because we’ve deemed them either unimportant or stuck up. The truth is they are no different than the streetwalker.
I once was the outcast, the guy that didn’t fit into any crowd. I was never popular in school, I wasn’t geeky enough to be on the chess team, athletic enough to be on any sports team and even the groups I was associated with I certainly always felt like I was on the outside looking in.
The truth was, I was hurting and I was hurting badly at that point in my life. To the point that I was a cutter, for those who don’t know what that is, it’s a person who takes knives or razors and cuts into themselves as a way to cry out for help or in an act of self punishment for something they’ve done. For me it was the latter.
The only person who every paid attention enough to notice my pain was a girl I went to school with, named Shannon, who always tried to make me feel better about myself, and even though it seemed that her words had no impact at the time, she never knew that one of the only good memories I had from my high school years, was sitting in the cafeteria talking to her (more like complaining about my life to her). In the end, God used her to tell me how much He loves me, when I couldn’t love myself and no one else could either, when I, was an unlovable. She may not know this, but she got me through so many days when I had no hope left and felt I would be better off 6 feet under.
So, how do you love the unlovable?
The same way Shannon did for me. First, acknowledge that they exist because the believe they don’t. Be an ear to listen to their pain and speak an encouraging word to them. Include them into your circle even when they don’t fit in, treat them as if they are someone important.
Most of all, treat them how you think Jesus would and I’m certain that you’ll do just fine.
I know there is a scripture that goes along with this message, but I couldn’t find it in time for this post. If you know what it is, please post it in the comments.
One last question; what examples do you have of how to love an unlovable? Please share your thoughts.