12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. ~ John 15:12 NKJV
By Bro. John L. Cash
I’m not a Roman Catholic, but I really like Pope Francis a lot. He won me over from the start. I read a news story somewhere that there were a bunch of priests together when they were having the meetings to choose the new Pope. When they went out to lunch, all the priests rode together on a bus. After Francis was elected as Pope, the folks in charge said he needed to come ride in the chauffeur-driven-Pope-car. Francis said he was doing fine — he would just continue to ride on the bus with his friends. There’s something exceptionally wonderful about that story.
When my boys were younger, the whole family would go out and order 4 Cokes and 1 sack of Krystal Burgers. We had a wonderful time sharing the sack of hamburgers, talking and laughing until they were all gone. I’ll just bet that if Pope Francis was in town, and I called him to share a sack of Krystal Burgers with me, he would want to go. The only problem with sharing a sack of Krystals with Francis is that you would need TWO sacks of burgers. You’d need the extras because without a doubt he would give the first 12 away to poor people and children who looked like they needed a bite to eat.
I’ve found a really cool shirt at www.lovelikefrancis.com. On the back you can get the imprinted quote (from Francis) of your choice. I love the picture on the front the most. By looking at the picture you can see all the people Francis thinks we should love. There’s an older lady (who is rich) holding hands with a little girl (who is poor), which means we should love young and old, rich and poor. There’s a light-skinned doctor standing next to a dark-skinned fireman. (We should love all races of people, and especially our public servants who are “helpers.”) There is a boy in a wheel chair and a boy on crutches. (We should love those who have disabilities and those who have sicknesses.) There’s a mother, a father, a baby, and a dog. (We should love families because they are the building block of our world.) There is a girl with her arm in a sling. (We should love the hurting.) Last, but not least, there’s a lady who is a construction worker. (We should love people who are a little different from the norm.)
(Sometimes I wonder why there are no cats on the shirt. Is Pope Francis allergic to cats? Does he dislike cats? But I digress….)
I wonder if Pope Francis has ever run into anyone wearing a t-shirt like this. I’ll bet if he did, he would tell the person that they shouldn’t try to “Love Like Francis.” He would tell them to buy a shirt that says, “Love Like Jesus.”
The more I think about it, the more I believe this is the aim of the Christian life: “Love Like Jesus.” You don’t have to change your denomination to do that. You don’t even have to change your shirt. All you have to do is open your heart to the Saviour and strive to live for Him.
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher and his teacher friends had an Ugly Christmas Sweater contest at school this week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.