Times are tough in Michigan. Four of my friends have husbands who are unemployed. Many families have suddenly received pay cuts. My brother (he's 34) showed up at his job last week to find his whole department was being eliminated, effective immediately. And my dad recently learned that the company he works for was relocating to Mexico. In just a few months, my dad will also be without a job. He will be 62 years old and unemployed. I'm quite sure this is not how he envisioned his career would end.
Last week at t-ball my dad mentioned that a number of workers from Mexico were in town for a few weeks. How uncomfortable (I thought)! These workers will be taking my dad's job from him, and now he has the task of training and teaching them. I wouldn't want that responsibility! Fertile ground for bitterness and anger if you ask me!
But rather than going down a negative trail, my dad was sharing how he enjoyed getting to know these workers from Mexico. My dad shared conversations he had with them ~ both professional and personal. Instead of grumbling and complaining, my dad was forming friendships with these men while they were away from home.
Imagine my surprise when Saturday morning at Jake's hockey game, my dad announced that he had invited his co-workers from Mexico to come and watch his grandson's hockey game. And sure enough....just a few minutes into the first period, in walk nine of my dad's new friends. They had so much fun watching the game, cheering on Jake's team (Goalie - Goalie - Goalie - they would yell!). Taking pictures. Laughing and smiling and enjoying every minute of it.
After the game, my dad walked his friends over to touch the ice (they'd never seen ice before). He found a hockey puck for them to take home as a souveneir. And then he left to show them the fish ladder, the Ford Museum, and other parts of downtown Grand Rapids. After the tour, my dad invited his new friend's over for a cook-out. They spent the afternoon together grilling and talking and hanging out at my parent's home.
In the book of Luke, Jesus reminds us to love our enemies. Jesus says, If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? If you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:32-33)....But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. (v 35)
Thank you, Dad, for modeling real Jesus love. :)
Can you spot my dad? (He is in the center with the red collar.) What a fun day! :)