I went to Target this weekend. I know what you’re thinking (ew, yucky!), but hear me out first.
As I was checking out, I noticed that the cashier was, well, different from me. I won’t go into detail, but given what has been going on lately, you could probably assume. As I was waiting in line, I was watching this cashier’s interactions with the other customers. I wondered if they saw the differences. I wondered if they noticed what I noticed.
I caught myself being judgmental, and I shouldn’t have. I needed to show grace. I needed to remember how Jesus would have interacted with this person. After all, that’s what I am called to do. As I was silently praying for this cashier, it was my turn to check out.
The cashier smiled at me, rang up my purchases, and asked if I was interested in saving 5% on a Target Red Card (no thanks, I spend too much money in there already). I politely declined. I smiled my most genuine smile, hoping that the cashier would somehow see the grace of God pouring out as I stood there.
I knew that this cashier needed to experience the love of Christ. If that happened, then maybe something would change. Maybe this is God’s battle, not mine. After all, isn’t that what Christ does? My judgmental attitude had slowly changed into one that was overwhelmed with love for this person. I can’t change people. I can only love them. It was such a humbling experience for me; a true example of sacrificial love…
This guy wasn’t transgender, if that’s what you were thinking (hasn’t anyone taught you about ASSuming?!). He was just a regular guy, doing his regular job, at a regular store. There are so many testimonials now floating around from Christian people who are sharing there experiences of shopping at Target (or anywhere) and running into some transgender folk. So many stories of how they were humbled, and felt like it was their duty to be Christ for these people. And so they were.
I can’t help but wonder, though, about the other 99.7% of Americans. What is my immediate response when I see one of those people? Based on statistics (I’m no mathematician), I think my odds of running into a heterosexual far outweigh the chances of sitting next to a transgender person in a bathroom. How do I act around those people? How am I treating them so that they might feel the grace of God pouring into their lives?
Don’t get me wrong; I am not knocking Christians for being gracious toward those in the LGBT community. I think that’s fabulous. But, what if the straight Christians are the ones that needed that grace? Because, friends, you were. I needed that grace, and I’m not transgender. I was dead, dead, dead in my sinfulness. I had no hope; I had no chance at life. Christ rescued me and gave me eternal life.
The .3% of transgender individuals, plus the 99.7% of others (again, I’m no mathematician) makes up the 100% of American people that need to experience Christ’s love. Not only are they trans, bi, lesbian, gay; they are black, they are Chinese-American, they are atheists, Muslim, agnostic, Southern Baptist, etc.
The truth is, based on that .3%, you may never get the chance to sit down with a transgender person and share your beliefs about their “lifestyle.” And honestly, you may never even recognize one sitting next to you in the bathroom at Target. But you will get the chance to share the love of Christ with someone. You do have the opportunity to show grace to all people; not because you are in any better position than they are, but because you once were in desperate, dire need for that same grace.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:1-10]