“I’ve Grown to Really Love Them”

young bandMr. and Mrs. Rodriguez have been married for nearly twenty years. Both are lifelong Christians. They are also both very gifted musicians. They have passed along not only their faith but also their music abilities to their kids. The Rodriguez’s two teenage sons, Nick and Tyler, play in a band. They’re apparently pretty good. A couple of their band mates are also musically gifted but quite rough around the edges. Although generally well-mannered, Tim and Nathan, both unbelievers, can be a bit abrasive and their language tends toward off-color. In spite of these things, the family reached out in love toward them, reflecting God’s mercy into their lives.

Mrs. Rodriguez said it this way: “I found out over time that Tim and Nathan both come from broken homes. There is everything imaginable in their lives and their friend’s lives: drug use, poverty, divorce, cutting, suicidal thoughts, the list goes on. I know at one point in my life I couldn’t have tolerated such people in my home or my life. But they’ve been here on a regular basis for a good year. They have band practices here, they sleep over, they have meals with us—they’re like part of our family. And I’ve grown to really love them.”

The Rodriguez’s did their best to let their light shine and even frequently invited Tim and Nathan to church. Finally, Tim and Nathan both agreed to go to church on the same Sunday morning. That morning a young man shared his testimony during the service. His life had been turned upside down by some of the same things that plagued Tim and Nathan. The young man’s entire story, though, was one of encountering God’s mercy. When the pastor invited people to receive the Lord’s forgiveness, both Tim and Nathan responded. Two souls were saved because a family who could have looked condescendingly toward them, instead, reached out in love and mercy.

(excerpted from the book, Reflecting God’s Mercy in an Unmerciful World, by Tom Kraeuter, ©2008 Training Resources, Inc., Hillsboro, MO. Go to http://reflectinggodsmercy.com/)
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