Jon Weece is one of my favorite authors and Bible teachers. He’s got a heart of gold, and his love for God and for people is truly inspiring. I recently read his new book, Jesus Prom: Life gets fun when you love people like God does and it has quickly become one of my favorite books. It’s funny, uplifting and profoundly true. You should definitely check it out.
I asked Jon to write a guest post, because I believe his insights on matters of faith and family could be a huge encouragement to you. This real-life, short story below will touch your heart and give you some practical ways to infuse your home with more love, faith and compassion.
By” Jon Weece
Donnie is more than a friend. He is a member of my family.
We celebrate Donnie’s birthday, spend Christmas with him, take him to get his haircut, buy his groceries, and fill his prescriptions. My favorite activity is singing karaoke with Donnie. He put the cool in Kool & the Gang!
I have a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter by birth. I am a 40-year-old dad to a 54-year-old son with special needs by default. No one else would take responsibility for Donnie so I did.
This picture of me with Donnie sums up my relationship with him.
He is a source of great joy in my life.
I have chosen to expose my kids to Donnie on a weekly basis because I want my kids to understand the nature of love. When it comes to Donnie and love, we have adopted a phrase as a family that captures our commitment to him.
No matter what.
No matter what Donnie says that is inappropriate, we are going to love him. No matter what Donnie does that is frustrating, we are going to love him.
Donnie cusses and bugs have infested his apartment. No matter how many times we ask him to watch his language and no matter how many times we ask him to clean out his apartment, Donnie forgets.
In that way, he’s like me.
I say and do things all the time that I’ve been asked not to say and do by my Father. But he loves me anyway. My Father continues to set a place for me at His table, so I continue to set a place for Donnie at mine.
No matter what.
The last time Donnie was at my house, we watched a DVD of him singing at our church. He was so proud of his performance that we watched it 6 times! As I ejected the DVD, Donnie stood up, walked to the TV, and kissed it.
Every time I watch ESPN, I’m reminded of Donnie because there are two lip prints on my flat screen that I can’t get off.
I’m a better husband because of Donnie. I’m a better parent because of Donnie. And the reason I can say that with confidence is because of the love we receive from him.
Donnie loves my family no matter what.
What we give to Donnie doesn’t compare with what we get from Donnie.
My parents picked up hitchhikers and homeless people all the time. As a kid, I never knew who would sit at our dining room table or sleep in our guest bedroom each night. My parents had a selfless marriage because they lived a selfless life.
Nothing kills a family faster than selfishness. Nothing revives a family like selflessness.
My job description as a husband and as a dad is the same—to wash dirty feet. I want my kids to see me washing the feet of their mom and the feet of Donnie. We can never wash too many feet and no feet are too dirty to wash.
Jesus washed Judas’ feet.
Why did he wash Judas’ feet?
Because Jesus loved people. No matter what they said and no matter what did, Jesus never met a person he couldn’t serve because love doesn’t look to get, but to give. And the powerful truth about love is the more love we give, the more love we get.
Every family needs more love. Mine included.
Sometimes my kids think they need more video games or more clothes. What they really need is more love. And they won’t get it by keeping it, but by giving it away.
Who needs to be invited to eat at your table? Who needs to be invited to sleep in your guest bedroom?
Dirty feet under your table and dirty feet under your sheets will clean out your heart.
And a few lip prints on your TV will remind you that we have to love people.
No matter what.
For more encouragement from Jon Weece, you can connect with Jon on twitter by clicking here and check out his inspiring new book, “Jesus Prom.”