Getting God’s Attention

My pastor’s definition of love – the best I’ve ever heard – is doing things for other people at your own expense. It’s a definition that gets at the heart of what Jesus did, and it takes care of that little problem noted by Jesus when he was talking about loving you enemies. He said, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners’ love those who love them.” (Luke 6:32) If you find that love is always easy, it’s probably not the kind of love that Jesus was talking about.

Indeed, the kind of love preached by Jesus involves a bit of sacrifice toward people that you – or anyone else – wouldn’t normally sacrifice for. And this kind of love, I think, is epitomized by the guy I recently saw in an HBO documentary called “Ebola – the Doctor’s Story.” It mostly follows Javid Abdelmoneim, a British emergency response doctor working for Doctors Without Borders in an Ebola treatment center in Sierra Leone.

This guy routinely suited up and interacted with people dying of a disease that has a 50-70% fatality rate for those who contract it. Virtually nobody else wanted to take care of them. So Dr. Javid and a few other extremely rare individuals did. The whole time I watched I was thinking that even if this guy wasn’t a purposeful follower of Christ, he was still following Christ.

Loving the unloved is hard, but I think it really gets God’s attention.

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