The folks at the animal shelter didn't know what to do about this dog. He was mean. They were certain that his former owners had hurt him and so he treated every human being as though they were enemies. Even the people that fed him needed to be careful lest he bite them. My dad decided to take him in. We brought him home and for several months my dad wouldn't let us kids around the dog unless he was there with us.
I have to tell you that I was amazed to see how the dog changed in those months. He went from a growling, snarling, beast that scared even me to a happy, friendly, dog that wagged his tail every time he saw us.
I asked my dad what he did that changed the dog so much. All he said was, "I just loved him every chance I got. Eventually he understood that there was someone who loved him and he learned how to love back."
The man that Jesus met who lived in the caves outside of town had it even worse. He had demons that hurt him and tried to get him to hurt himself and others. All the townspeople were afraid of him. Jesus got rid of the demons, but also showed the man that someone cared about him. He loved him and eventually the man understood. The people of the town found him with Jesus healed, and no longer anything to be afraid of.
Let's pray about that.
God, we know that you love everyone, even the people who are hurt themselves and who might try to hurt other people because of that. We pray that you would send people to them who can love them and help them. Help us to share your love with people we can as well.