There's a guy who frequently comes to my ER drunk. In reality he's not the only one, but that's another story. We'll call him Brian (not his real name).
Brian shows up in bad weather with a few beers in his bag. He always has a vague reason for coming to the ER and usually won't let us draw his blood or run any tests until he passes out. Usually this story ends in Brian getting angry about something and yelling and he is eventually escorted out by the police.
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus tells us that whatever we do for the least among us, we do for him.
Here's where I struggle: Brian is a smelly drunk who does nothing to help himself and usually does nothing but waste our time in the ER. Time that would be better spent helping sick and injured people who want to get better. We've given him every chance we can. Each time, he uses and abuses us for a place to get out of the cold.
I guess it begins with how Jesus would treat him. With respect. With the love of a brother who knows that he will never change but hopes that one day he will.
It likely that I'll have Brian hauled out of the ER by the police again. I'll also never turn my back on him (he took a swing at me once). I can try my best to look at him through the eyes of Jesus and see someone of value. If I can do that for him, how much easier can I see the rest of the world in that way?
NOTE: Brian isn't really a real person. Rather, he is a composite of several folks I see on a regular basis. Privacy law prohibit me from sharing real stories of real people. However, Brian the composite gets the point across.