We spent the morning with the Salvation Army in downtown LA. We cooked spaghetti, cut veggies, washed dishes, and sang while we did it. We were preparing meals to take to the people on Skid Row. As the time arrived, we packed up the food truck and got in our cars to head out. I remember the ride was quiet. It was like we were all anticipating what was about to happen.
I felt nervous and excited. Nervous, because I didn't know what to expect. Excited, because we were about to impact lives.
As we turned the corner to Skid Row, it got quieter. It's like our hearts broke in that moment. I've seen homeless people before and I've seen broken people before, but this was a whole different level that I wasn't expecting.
I remember taking it all in as we stepped out of the car. I remember being very overwhelmed as I saw the devastation around me. You could feel it. Defeat and brokenness hangs heavy on those streets.
But we weren't going to let those feelings take us over. We set them aside and we focused on loving others. Even those who yelled at us, because we ran out of food.
There were all kinds of people on the streets; young and old, mentally disabled and sane, veterans and civilians, black and white. Brokenness does not discriminate. But the wonderful thing is, neither does Jesus.
Jesus finds value in all of us. He finds value in the poor of LA and the rich of LA. He finds value in the people of America and the people of the Middle East. He finds value in you and He finds value in me.
So what does that mean for us?
We have to learn to look passed our own brokenness and misconceptions of love in order to truly value others. We can't just look at the surface level, because if we do that then we will never understand.
We have to learn our own value. We have to know that God has created every part of us and that there is purpose in each of us. Once we can understand our value, it becomes easier to see the value God placed in each and every person.
There are people out there who have lost their identity. There are people who have decided to set in their brokenness. They don't understand their value and they don't understand the love of the Father.
That's why you and I have to grab a hold of our value AND theirs. If someone doesn't know their value, its up to us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
Let's make a decision today to show love by understanding the value of life. Let's make a commitment to follow the greatest commandment: to love god and to love people.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”