“Hello. I’m a homosexual. How can I help?”

Roaring towards you on your side of the road is the driver of a car with his head down texting. To avoid a head-on collision you jerk your steering wheel to the right, and into the ditch you go, your car flips over several times and lands upside down with you helplessly trapped inside it. The engine has stopped, fortunately, but the smell of leaking gas is ominous.

It’s at this point that a car above you screeches to a halt, a man jumps out and runs down to your car and yells through your shattered window, “Can I help?”

What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Is to ask if the man is an atheist or a Muslim? But what if your rescuer had yelled through the window instead, “Hello. I’m a homosexual. How can I help?” Would it make it any difference at that point what the man was? He could be an alien with three heads, or the bully you hated most in school, or the person you dreaded most having to accept help from, like a woman, or a Catholic, or a witch, but at that moment the only thing that counts is the presence of a fellow human being who can get you out of the car before it blows up.

Suddenly, in a crisis when you desperately need help, all differences evaporate. It’s the same when surgery is the only thing that will save your life, and the surgeon is black, or a woman, or his voice is effeminate, or she’s wearing a hijab. Do you scream at that moment that you don’t want such a person touching you, and the only surgeon you’ll accept must be white, male and Christian?

From the surgeon’s point of view too, what if he, or she, has never liked Christians and refuses to operate? But the saving of a life changes all that, doesn’t it? It doesn’t matter who or what the person is. There may be a moment of hesitation as prejudices press for expression, but who yells through the shattered window of a car to a helplessly trapped person inside as gas is leaking, “I have a list of questions I need to ask you first: Number One, are you homophobic? Number Two, what do you think of Muslims? Number three…..”

To Jesus it didn’t matter who or what any human was when he died on the cross. Saving lives was all he cared about, and it removed all hateful feelings and prejudices. It’s interesting, then, that he encouraged us to love people as he loves them (John 13:34).

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