One of God’s Favorites

I find that I tell this story over and over again in conversation; I thought it might be good to tell it here:

I was coming up out of the Dupont Circle Metro station one morning in Washington, on my way to work at First Baptist Church, when I saw someone coming down the escalator on the other side who looked, well…scary.  He was wearing dark glasses, a leather jacket, and enough tattoos and body piercings to make it hard to see what he really looked like.  I gulped and thought, “There’s one of God’s favorites.”

I don’t know what inspired that thought but it had an immediate effect—no longer did I see him as frightening or threatening; I saw him as one of God’s favorites.  I could imagine God introducing the two of us and saying, “Jim, have you met Mad Dog?  I love this guy!”  And I could imagine Mad Dog smiling and reaching out to shake hands.  I smiled when I passed him on the escalator (and was it my imagination or did he smile back?). 

As I walked the two blocks to church I tried it on every person I passed: “There’s one of God’s favorites, there’s one of God’s favorites, there’s one of God’s favorites…”  And on every person it worked: I saw them in a different way than I had only a second earlier.  By the time I reached the end of the first block it was all I could do not to tell the woman who was standing there with me waiting for the light to change, “You’re one of God’s favorites!”  I believed she really was.

When I got to church one of our preschool teachers was on the playground with some of the children and I stopped to talk with her, still giddy from my walk.  Teresa is originally from Jamaica.  She has a sweet, sweet spirit and a beautiful smile.  I’m almost 100% sure that she is one of God’s favorites and I told her so.  She beamed.  Every time I saw her in the days that followed I would say, “You’re one of God’s favorites!” and she would say, “You are, too!”  (That’s not a bad way to greet one another, is it?). 

To this day, when I encounter someone who seems different, strange, or even a little bit scary I just think, “There’s one of God’s favorites,” and it helps.  And I know this, that even if that person is not one of God’s favorites, he or she is someone God loves, and that makes a difference.

If God loves Mad Dog he can’t be all bad, can he?

p.s. The picture I’ve used on this post is a picture of someone who calls himself “the Scary Guy.”  Click on the link to find out more.  He may really be one of God’s favorites!

3 thoughts on “One of God’s Favorites

  1. Jim – this story reminds me of a similar one I experienced in my first church – when I was MUCH younger. We took our Youth Choir on a Mission trip to the Chicago Area. One of our concerts was to be in the famous Pacific Garden Mission. The details are hazy, but there were some really interesting people in the audience, and I was a bit frightened. Then it popped into my mind in NEON flashes –
    “God loves ‘him’ (‘her’) as much as He loves you.” When I encounter someone who is different in any way that thought comes to the forefront in my mind.


  2. Jim – your blogs: ALWAYS thought provoking for me. This one triggered a particular memory for me. After living/working in Switzerland for a little over a year, my oldest daughter returned home with her nose pierced. When I saw her for the first time, I thought, “Why?” (It also made my own nose itch). Not long after, my youngest daughter followed suit. They were both “legal” age, so nothing I could say or do. I was not crazy about the body piercings, and I knew it could be worse. I may not like certain things they have done/do, but my love remains unconditional. If they chose to cover themselves in tatoos and piercings, I would be concerned (no doubt) but the love I have for them would never change. I think that God may feel the same – we all must be His “favorites.”

    PS)I am happy to report that my daughters’ piercings are long gone and healed.

  3. Hello to you,

    Good story. Next time feel free to stop me and shake my hand.

    “May the power of your love radiate with every breath you take and every sight you see. And you are witness to the Blessing of all people and the essence of their love.” -The Scary Guy 2010

    Love to you,
    The New Face Of Love
    And if you would like to chat you may e mail me directly at . . .

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