Pugs have very short airways that result in unusual, and often annoying, breathing patterns. Typical of her breed, Sheba snores, snorts, sneezes and wheezes; and she does so regardless of where she is or who she’s with—no manners at all! This is just who she is—it’s how God designed her and, in loving her unconditionally, all of those otherwise unattractive qualities become the very things that make her even more special.
Each of us also has qualities that are potentially offensive to others. Perhaps it’s a physical characteristic or mannerism, a personality quirk, or a unique way of thinking or acting—things that have been hard-wired into our DNA by God, things that endear us to our master.
So I ask myself, “How often have I made judgments about people just because I didn’t like some little thing about them? How many divine encounters have I overlooked? How many friendships have I missed? Why don’t I accept and love people as they are, without thinking about how much nicer, or more attractive or pleasant they’d be if they would just do things my way?”
Just as I would never try to make Sheba stop snoring/snorting/sneezing/wheezing, I cannot make others conform to the image of what I think they should be. That’s God’s job! Perhaps those irritating quirks are as essential to their being as my dog’s noisy breathing is to her survival.
My responsibility is to love people unconditionally, just as Jesus loves me. After all, as I’m taught in Psalm 139, “he created my inmost being…[he] knit me together in my mother’s womb…[and] I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”