“But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:44–45
We were in India and for nearly two weeks we’d been preaching the gospel and sharing Jesus’ love with the people in the villages where we were called to raise up churches.
One day as we were visiting in the homes of one village where the people were particularly poor we came to a home where a baby had been born just a few days before. Local custom forbade any man, not of the immediate family, from being able to enter the home for the next several days so two women from our group entered to pray for the home and the baby.
When the ladies came out they were both very upset by what they had seen. This family was the poorest we had encountered. There was no food visible anywhere in the house and the baby was covered by only rags for blankets.
We’d been told that we couldn’t try and meet the physical needs of the people because they were too great and even attempting to would hamper our ability to share Jesus but the plight of this village and this family in particular prompted us to break these instruction.
So money was collected from the evangelistic team and food was purchased but when it came to the distribution none of the Bible workers that had served this village or the local Christians were willing to give food to the starving family with the new baby.
When we asked, “Why?” they told us that the people were evil, they worshipped idols, and they were always insulting and even cursing the Christians that lived around them and the Bible workers that served them. They didn’t deserve the food and workers didn’t want to give it to them.
Karen, one of the women that had visited the home, and I knew we couldn’t leave this family out. We had to show them Jesus’ love. I couldn’t go, men weren’t allowed in the home, so Karen picked up the bag of food we had for them and began to walk to the house. The Bible worker that had been trying to explain why we weren’t going to give to them followed her quietly protesting in broken English.
Within minutes they were outside the small house and Karen called in. The woman came out and would only looked at the ground. She knew that food was being given out by the Christians and that her family didn’t deserve any. Gently Karen put the the food in front of her and told her it was for her and her family.
When that young mother looked up there were tears in her eyes.
That day everyone saw Jesus’ love a little clearer. The wicked family saw that even their curses and insults couldn’t keep it away and the Christians saw the power that’s present when we do as Jesus said and love our enemies and those that spitefully use us.