It’s Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”… and it’s the person at school or on the job or across the street. There are people in our lives who are just flat difficult to love. Sometimes they are jerks. Sometimes they are rude. Whatever the case, they have their defenses up.
Love them anyway. Bake them cookies. Now their grass for them. Take up the slack on a project they are struggling with.
Or my favorite. I like to hug them… a strong and long hug. I like for it to be awkward for them. It’s okay. I’m a hugger. It’s awkward for lots of folks. But when they need to be loved and act like they don’t want to, it’s the best.
They just can’t decide whether to push you away or hug you back even tighter. Usually they push you away first. But that’s okay. Keep hugging them. At some point, they’ll break. And when they do, get ready because you are about to be hugged back like never before.
Not sure you can do this? Well, it’s what Jesus does for every one of us until we finally accept His love… His forgiveness… His grace… His life-transforming power. He loves us anyway.
We act like jerks to Him… He hugs us. We try to push Him away by doing things we know He doesn’t like or approve of… He hugs us. He just loves us despite what we say or act like because He knows we need it most. He told religious leaders in His time that it’s the sick who need a doctor most, not the healthy. And He’s been hugging people like us ever since.
So, you have someone in your life who isn’t so easy to get along with? To quote my sweet friend and mentor, Jeanne Mayo… Be Jesus with skin on. When your eyes meet theirs, plaster a big ol’ smile on your face, spread your arms wide open & wrap them up.
Give it time and lots of hugs… one day, they’ll hug back… and you won’t have to plaster that smile on… it will show up on its own.