Woman Refuses My PB & J Sandwich: Lesson in Love
“Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” Colossians 3:12-15 bold and word in brackets added
“I don’t want that peanut butter and jelly sandwich,” the woman virtually spat at me as she gave it back to me.
“Not enough jelly?” I asked, “Or peanut butter?” I said, taking the sandwich back from her with my free hand. I was laden down with tote bags on my shoulders full of peanut butter sandwiches and a big cardboard tray packed with Gospel tracts and devotionals as part of my brand new Peanut Butter and Jesus project, and I was not surprised she didn’t want the sandwich. I have zero kitchen and cooking skills, I knew the bakery bread that had been donated was not perfectly fresh, and the sandwiches were anything but perfect despite the fact my heart had been incredibly full of love and compassion for those who would receive them. How surprised I was, however, when she explained why she wouldn’t accept the sandwich.
“You just threw it to me like I’m one of your 16 dogs,” she said with hurt and anger. “I’m not one of your dogs.”
“I’m so sorry,” I replied immediately, “my hands are so full. I was tossing the sandwiches to just get them to everyone,” I explained.
God has changed me immeasurably through the years. Instead of being defensive and angry, I was apologetic and teachable. With my heart wide open, I soon realized the lesson God had used this woman to teach me. Though my heart had been full of His love, and while I truly had tossed the sandwiches around the large table only because my body was overloaded with things to carry, I had not had the degree of sensitivity and compassion and servant’s heart the Lord wanted me to have. God wanted to stretch me past the degree of love He has already shaped in my heart, and to take me further down the road of humility, of lowering myself, of reaching up to Him and out to a broken world not with my own human love and compassion, but with His. I had not considered what it would be like for someone to receive a sandwich tossed to them. God had wanted me to love like He does – with utter abandon. He wanted me to see I need to be more loving, more kind, more sensitive to reaching people’s hearts with His love.
Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. We need to stop seeing love from our own perspective, and to walk in His love instead. There is always room for more of His love in our hearts, our words, and our actions, isn’t there?
Do you need to be stretched?