It’s simple, really. Caring for people from creation to restoration is seeing the value and importance of every human being on this planet regardless. There is no one insignificant. No one who doesn’t count. No one who is an outcast as far as God is concerned. No one without worth or dignity. No leaving anyone out.
There is also no deciding ahead of time who is for us or who is against us. Jesus told His disciples that those who are not against us are for us. That’s a pretty big assumption that doesn’t necessarily mean how everyone will end up, but how we are to treat them along the process. If they’re not against us, treat them as if they are with us and chances are, they might turn out to be. And even those who are against us doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Jesus seemed to attract all types of people — many of them needy — He still does today. Jesus would not be the pastor of a homogeneous suburban congregation today; He would be the pastor of misfits.
This is where we need to stretch. We prefer to be around people like us. It’s easy and it’s comfortable, but something tells me heaven is not going to be like that. Heaven is, in fact, going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Those may be people who may not want to be there. C.S. Lewis is the first writer I ever came across who painted a picture of people who actually didn’t want to be in heaven (The Great Divorce). Paint a picture of Pharisees and you have a group of people who would not like heaven; it would include too many people they don’t think should be there. The so-called “deserving” are never happy with grace; the “undeserving” don’t care who grace summons, they just can’t believe it included them.
Where people are at on their own walk of faith is not our business. We’re not grading anyone — we’re not giving them a quiz at the end of the session. We are on the road, but we are not in charge of our final destination. We are sharing our story with whomever wants to walk with us, but we’re not responsible for their conclusions. That’s God’s business. We are responsible to love them, and be the good Samaritan to them along the way.