Chapter 30: Love Everybody Everywhere
Love Everybody Everywhere
When I first asked Bill about the cows, he told me just to come over and he would show me what he does. I liked the idea, not knowing how much I would enjoy the experiences. We worked out a time and Bill told me where to meet him. We rode his doodle bug from one yard to another or, excuse me, from one pasture to another. Or is it field? Farm? Oh well, I can’t remember what to correctly call it, but I did remember to write doodle bug.
Bill and I arrived near the cows. Though they were unsure of his guest, they recognized Bill and the food we brought. I sat amazed. The cows knew what they wanted and how to get it. They knew Bill. They didn’t know me, but that didn’t seem to matter. They found, and ate, quickly and aggressively, what they wanted.
We were laughing and telling stories as the cows were enjoying dinner. I was sitting in the vehicle, asking questions and taking pictures—doing what I thought needed to be done. Bill was doing what he knew needed to be done.
And then it happened.
A cow pooped all over me.
Yes, all over me. Sometimes we can figuratively say, from head to toe. Sometimes, those words can be literal. That time, unfortunately, it was all over me. The cow who dropped her mess was not picky about finding a preferred location. She placed the unwanted leftovers all over me—the shoes I love wearing to the farm, the dirty old jeans I wore to make me look a little like a farmer, the shirt which seemed to fit that farmer world, the sunglasses to protect me from the shine, the hat that I didn’t know would never be worn again, the socks that I also didn’t know I would never wear again, the phone I used to take pictures of my pleasing moments with those delightful cows.
How would I get clean? How would I tell Debbie? What would be the long-term consequences?
Well, I needed to learn from Bill. But he was laughing. He did feel bad for me, but he was laughing.
And until I cleaned my phone for what seemed like two hours to call Debbie and tell her I was a real cow owner now, I was also laughing. Why not? Cow mess happens.
Some of the things we threw away. Some we washed. Some we washed several times.
The following week I went back to the farm, rode with Bill in the field, and fed the cows.
Instead of letting the mess keep us away from the cows, we can learn a few lessons from our experiences. We can still spend time with the cows.
Instead of letting the mess of past relationships keep us away from people, we can learn a few lessons from the experience. We can still spend time with people.
Yes, many of us have been messed all over. He lied to you. She broke her promise. They talked about you among themselves and changed the opinions others had about you. He abused you physically. She abused you verbally. They said they were Christians but all they ever did was speak death to you. He said he would forgive and move on, but he didn’t. She said she was sorry, but showed no remorse. They allow their “sins” to be acceptable, but they just can’t allow your “sins” to be included on the list of forgiven ones.
Every cow will moo and eat and poop.
Every cow does each of those without manners or guidelines. Every person will moan and groan and toss some mess your way. Some people do so with such pride and poise.
Cows stay alive that way. People often move to the top that way.
Through harmful words and hateful habits, through confidence covered with pride, through success stories while forgetting those they threw to the ground while getting fed, people live that way. They forget their friends and choose relationships as only needed if they help an adventure to the top. They allow their stories to be the only story that matters. They hit with words. They use churchy language to pretend God’s Spirit is the reason for their lack of grace.
But that isn’t the end of the story, of your story, of our stories.
What is? A reminder about an invitation. A prompting about a summons. A visit with a command. What are we to do with those people who throw their trash our way?
We are to love them.
Each one of them.
We are to love everybody everywhere.
- Do you carry deep hate toward anyone? Why?
- What have you done with that hate?
- What should you do with it?
- How can you choose to intentionally become a person living with the love of Jesus?
- How can your life become better if the love of Jesus flows through you to everybody everywhere?