Several years ago, a friend of mine got a divorce. For a while they dropped off the radar while they dealt with the reality of a very difficult moment in their life. When they
were ready to re-engage with the world, they had people over, went out to dinner and all of the normal things except for one detail: I wasn’t invited.
Then the day came when I showed up at a gathering where I knew they were going to be. I remember the feeling of everyone watching me as
I walked in. The tension in the room was palpable. There was a huge elephant in the room. With every eye on me, I did what I thought Jesus would do. I walked across the room, gave them a hug and said, “I am so glad to see you!” The tension broke and the elephant left.
My friend was not a Christian and had been afraid that I wouldn’t hang out with them anymore. That’s what they said, but there was a deeper concern. Their real concern was whether or not God would hang out with them anymore. They wanted to know if God was going to ostracize them or stop loving them.
When I walked in the door, whatever I did was going to be the living example of how God thought of them. As it turns out, God loves them even when they mess up and so did I.
Elephants like this are amazing opportunities. In one brief moment, we have the opportunity to break through all the bad theology they’ve heard from street corner preachers and televangelists and show them what God truly is: Love.
Unfortunately, if I am honest, I have a tendency to want to chicken out. I have a tendency to want to let their silence be the last word on our relationship and opt out of the tension altogether. Why is that? I think that we haven’t spent time finding the Love of God in the elephants in the room. We haven’t searched the scriptures and listened to God and therefore, we don’t know what to do.
Know that God’s love is at the center of all those elephants. Whether it is adultery, divorce, judgmentalism, or puffed up religious people, God has a way to break through and allow you to offer His love to those who are hurting in your world—if you will let Him show you how.