We left off last week with a moving story about a man (Mr. Diaz) who, one night in New York City, was mugged at knife-point when he got off the subway. We hear unfortunate accounts of such situations often in the news; but, unlike most other news stories, this one had a surprise twist. In this particular encounter, the victim did not call the police like most people would do. Instead, Diaz responded to his mugger, not with anger, hate, and fear, but with love, mercy, and forgiveness.
In fact, Diaz showered so much U Love on his offender, that the robber was left speechless, amazed, and ready to refrain from continuing his acts of thievery. You see, when the mugger demanded his money, Diaz not only freely gave up his wallet, but he offered his jacket to the attacker as well.
Unbelievably, Diaz then invited the assailant to be his guest at dinner that night. And, as if that wasn’t enough, after dinner, Diaz also gave his offender an extra $20 for the road. The criminal had never encountered such U Love before. He admired this new way of behavior which was previously unfamiliar to him.
What?? You may be thinking. How could a victim be so kind to someone that just attacked and robbed him? It’s quite simple, actually. Diaz was looking at his mugger through the lens of unconditional love, something we’ve talked about extensively in this blog. Rather than looking at the outward actions of the mugger and taking offense, Diaz looked beyond what the mugger was doing and looked into his heart, to try to see the reason WHY the attacker was assaulting him in the first place.
Diaz looked at his offender with eyes of compassion, seeing a problem likely more deeply rooted than the surface act of robbery. Diaz saw an offender who was hurting, desperate for money, and who knows what else. Simply by turning the other cheek, showing generosity, and responding with concern, Diaz opened the eyes of the mugger to a new way of being. The assailant saw something in Diaz he had probably seen very little of in his life. The mugger saw God’s unconditional love reaching out to him, and it impacted his life in a major way, for good.
Diaz treated his offender to a marvelous demonstration of the way God loves us. God is ALWAYS looking at our hearts and not our outward actions. He is not about punishment, but always seeks restoration. God wants to take people who are broken and driven to destructive behavior, and love on them so greatly that their lives are transformed into something grand.
God never ceases to respond in love, compassion, and grace, no matter what someone has done. And, if God is like that with us, why wouldn’t we want to be exactly like that with one another? This is what unconditional love is all about. I understand that in some cases this kind of response can be difficult, perhaps seemingly impossible. However, with God’s help we can endeavor to show His kind of love in all situations.
I am challenging everyone, myself included, to follow Mr. Diaz’s model. He demonstrated an amazing example of unconditional love. The trick is to dodge offense, and to take a step back to try and see what might have caused a person to act against us. Look at the situation through God’s eyes to see what may have driven the person to act the way they did. And, then allow yourself to empathize with them, knowing everyone goes through difficult situations in life that causes each one of us to act in unpleasant ways at times.
Usually, there are deep roots of hurt that can cause people to act out. But, when they’re shown unconditional love, that love can begin to heal those deep wounds and hurts that are often the causes of caustic behaviors. Unconditional love will always have some positive impact on a person, as it did towards Diaz’s mugger.
I think we can all take a lesson from Diaz and simply be kind to people, no matter who they are and what they’ve done; because this is the kind of love we receive from God. And, in complete gratitude for being shown this love from God, doesn’t it follow that we would share this love with others? Just as we saw in the story of Diaz and his assailant, simple acts of kindness can indeed change lives. Let’s start a chain reaction of unconditional love, which is our ultimate end goal. I CAN make a difference! You CAN make a difference! We all CAN make a difference if we try! Think about it!
Please join our U Love chain here!