Loving anyone is hard. It’s easier to love mankind in general than the specific people God may bring into our lives. Sometimes even those who sit around the same dinner table don’t love each other. Love comes by the grace of God, the author of love. I find I need his grace to love many of the people who do look like me. I have many close friends who don’t look like me that are easier to love. Character matters to me more than skin color, but it’s easier to see skin color than character when you don’t know someone. Hard to love people come in all skin colors, and so to loving, giving people.
God doesn’t tell us we have to feel an emotion. He tells us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, help the sick, care for the widows and fatherless, and visit those who are in prison. Doing those things brings us into contact with the whole person, whom we can learn to love with our hearts as well as our actions.
Love means helping to meet someone’s basic needs. That includes not only food and shelter, but also significance. Food can be handed out in soup kitchens, but perhaps the most important thing that comes with the food is the silent message that you are important enough to nourish. God loves you and we do, too.