Actually I'll back up a bit, because it first started with me joining him on the sidewalk. I worked at a salon in downtown MooseJaw and there was this guy who would sit on a bench and play old hymns on his guitar and sing along. Usually I would walk on the other side of the street to get to my favorite lunch spot, Nit's Thai Cuisine. But the Lord started a work on my heart, and I started walking by him. I never dropped change into his guitar case, but one day I sat with him and sung along. You should have seen the looks of astonishment. I was a hairdresser, on a lunch break- so I was dawled up and lookin' my best, sitting beside an older, slobby man who had no teeth and wore the same outfit most days. I spent a few lunch hours with Lawrence. At times, it was hard, to not be embarassed or feel uncomfortable. But this guy was singing hymns to God and I was gonna judge him because of what social status he had? There was a day when I cried to Joey (we were dating and in college at the time), because I knew the Lord was doing a work in me by spending my time with Lawrence, and it was a good work that he did. There was a day when the Lord pressed me even further, and one day as I was passing by Lawrence to go Nit's Thai Cuisine, I asked if he would join me. That was an interesting lunch (and a long one for a guy who had no teeth!). We didn't have much to talk about, it was definitely awkward, but I truly loved this guy, and it was a love that had been given to me from my Father.
By this story, I'm not saying I have it together, because today, I would probably be challenged by the same insecurity of putting my reputation on the line to spend with a man like Lawrence, but I was loving him, like I love myself. Honestly, I enjoyed it. It even brings tears to my eyes now, because I know that my fear of people's persecution was greater at that time than my desire to love another human being. God changed my heart and uprooted some of that fear, and planted seeds of a love that I never had before.
If there is someone that has been placed on your heart, I would encourage you to ask God to show you and teach you how to love that person. It might be uncomfortable at first, but you will be pruned on the inside for His work and displaying His love. It's worth it.