Forgive me, this is a silly devotional that flowed out of my brain when I first read Suzie’s prompt: “Bloom.”
When People STINK, Just Remember You STINK Too!
Sometimes people stink, sort of like onions. And honestly, not everyone likes “onions.”
I personally happen to love them.
You can slice ‘em, dice ‘em, or serve ‘em up sautéed or grilled. I really don’t care how they are prepared—I pretty much like onions in everything except dessert.
But one of my most favorite ways to enjoy an onion is the glorious “Bloomin’ Onion.”
Whoever decided that an onion should be covered in batter and fried in a savory pallet of seasonings then served up with I-have-no-idea-what-this-yummy-sauce-is, was a genius.
Hater’s Gonna Don’t Hate
So for all the onion haters out there, I get that onions are less than appealing. And I would never eat an onion raw and naked. It at least has to be tucked in between meat and bread or layered in a bowl of greens.
But alone? No way.
It isn’t a walk in the park to prepare them either.
Once you manage to penetrate the papery shell that houses the onion, you are sucker punched with a pungent odor that has the power to melt your face off.
But if you stay in there and persevere to the end, you can put that smelly mess into a pan and swish it around with some garlic and worchestire sauce and suddenly it emits the fragrance of a masterpiece. (Or in the case a a Bloomin’ Onion, cover it with a batter-fried shell)
The truth is, we have to get past all of the initial reactions we have about onions in odor, I mean in “order” to fully appreciate them. And onions are best enjoyed when they are covered or drenched in something else.
Onions Have LAYERS, Donkey!
And you know what else has layers?
(Ahhh, so THERE’s where she was going with the whole “Bloomin’ Onion” thing…)
You see, onions stink, can make you cry, and can actually even burn you if you get an extra potent one…kind of like people.
People have baggage—LAYERS of baggage. Sometimes we don’t know how to set our own junk aside in order to love others well. Even those hardest to love.
But the hardest people to love are those who need love the most.
And consider Jesus’ example.
Before He arrived on the scene of our hearts, we were all sort of like odiferous, undesirable sinners in need of a Savior. And it pleased Him to set His love upon His children—to “cover” us in His love—while we were “yet sinners.”
Jesus desires that we would love others as He first loved us.
John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
And this verse comes to mind too:
Luke 6:32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.”
People Aren’t Onions, but…
People aren’t onions. And honestly if there are oniony-like people in our lives it is because God put them there.
As we ponder those hardest to love in our lives, the first thing we must do is be careful to realize we, ourselves, could be that “difficult person” to love in the life of someone else.
Second, if we would have the mind of Christ, and love people in the way He loves us—even when we are/were a stinkin’ sinful mess—it will change the way we think. And when the way we think changes, our actions change.
2 Corinthians 15-16
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.
No matter what kind of odor people waft in our direction (stinky or otherwise), it is up to us to show them Christ. We do that through our loving actions:
Kindness in the face of cruel words,
Forbearance in the presence of impatience,
Love for those filled with hatred.
At the end of the day, we are the face of Jesus to the world. And before Christ we are all a proverbial onions. But Christ came and cleansed us with the covering of His precious blood.
In so doing, He took what was vile and made it something wonderful.
We have the chance to be instruments of grace to people in our lives. And just like an onion covered in a yummy batter, when we are covered with grace (and in love cover those around us with the same grace) it is nothing short of glorious!