I met my friend Victoria last year. I saw this beautiful Kenyan girl in the mall with a baby in a stroller and went to ask her who styled her hair. We live in a town in Sweden where it’s impossible to find someone to style our Kenyan hair.
We quickly became friends; speaking on the phone a lot. She tried on numerous occasions to invite me to dinner, but I’d always say no and postpone it to a later date. I can vividly remember the number of times we tried to make arrangements to meet. These meetings never happened. I plan my time meticulously weeks ahead of time. Therefore, her impromptu calls to meet in an hour or so were of course turned down.
To be honest, there was also a part of me that did not want to hang out with Victoria because she drank too much. Parties with too much alcohol really weren’t my scene. See, I am a Christian who loves Jesus and Victoria was not.
Victoria told me she was depressed and how she had a difficult time adjusting to life in Sweden. She moved here from Kenya eight years earlier. She also was a single mom raising two young children. Life had not progressed the way she had planned.
Several months later, I was busy being the “good Christian” that I am – going to church, worshiping, reading my Bible, and not having any addictions. All the sudden, I received a call asking me to come to the hospital. Victoria had passed away. She was found dead in her apartment. She had taken her own life. She killed herself.
An announcement like that really messes up your neat and orderly Christian living arrangement.
I was aghast. My immediate thought, was I had failed God. Maybe He placed this girl in my path for a reason. The thought of her feeling so alone and feeling like there was no one she could turn to, including me, utterly devastated me.
Was I bothered too much about my Christian journey and my life that I could not identity and respond to a cry for help?
Victoria’s death was a big wake up call to me. I now treat any relationship I have with care and kindness. I live with a desire to positively impact that person’s life.
I’ve grown acutely aware of this fact: I do not know how much time I have with people on earth. In addition, I realize I am called to be Christ’s ambassador here on earth. We’re here to spread God’s love into every person’s life, regardless of the lifestyle choices of individuals.
I’ve shared because I want you to learn from my mistake. Become more like Jesus. Don’t be so quick to judge a person’s lifestyle. Jesus was incredibly loving and compassionate to anyone he encountered, regardless of their lifestyle. We need to be the same way.
This is a guest post from Anita King. She is a Kenyan girl living in Sweden who loves Jesus, writing, and kittens. Find more of her writing at www.asummerbunny.com. You can also connect with her on Facebook by liking her page, A Summer Bunny, or by following her on twitter @asummerbunny.