Do you really embody Jesus? Do you love people wherever you go? Even in Taco Bell?
In Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus declares that when we love on and take care of someone in need we are in fact doing it for the Lord. To ignore someone who needs clothing, shelter or food would be to ultimately ignore the Lord. “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me,” Jesus declares.
While many of us would like to believe that we would not judge someone for looking dirty or strange, the truth is that the outward appearances of a person can cause us to look away and try to forget that they are nearby. However, Jonathan McCall in Tennessee takes Jesus’ message in Matthew chapter 25 completely to heart and is hoping that his story can cause others to love their neighbors as boldly as he does.
Recently McCall was visiting a Taco Bell with his son Caden when a “disheveled, dirty man” walked into the restaurant.
“He would not make eye contact with the girl when he ordered his food and kept his face down towards the floor. His body looked tired and his spirit looked broken,” McCall told Love What Matters.
The man ordered one item from the value menu and went to sit at the farthest table from everyone else with his few possessions and small meal. In this moment many of us would have chosen to leave the man alone and go back to our food – except for McCall.
After a few moments, he decided to go over there and ask the man if he could sit and eat with him. McCall began engaging in conversation with the man and before too long, the man realized that McCall was not there with any other plans other than being friendly and loving to him. From there the man began to share his whole life story and the whole conversation began to feel like two old friends were just hanging out.
“It would have been easy to scoff at him or look down on him because his problems are more noticeable than ours,” McCall wrote. “The thing is, if our messy lives don’t define us in the eyes of the Lord, then why should Mark’s messy life define who he is to me? All I had to do was love him without prejudice or conditions. Seriously, it really is simple. Just love! Unconditional love is empowering! It is freeing! It changes people! Just love them!”
This is the same type of love that Jesus taught constantly while he was on Earth with the disciples: he loved the people that were considered “lesser than” and chased after them while ignoring the crowds! Praying that we would all be moved by McCall’s humble example in Taco Bell.