Someone down in the family chain once told me that I am hard to love. It is true. I understand. (People with Asperger syndrome often have difficulty 'reading' other people - recognizing or understanding others' feelings and intentions - and expressing their own emotions. This can make it very hard for them to navigate the social world. They may: appear to be insensitive, even if they don't intend to be.) The words did not hurt as much as they made me feel sorry for the person. I love and do love, just differently. If Jesus only reached into the hearts of the lovable ... but He doesn't, and we are thankful that he loves us and accepts us where we are, always encouraging and building us up.
We are to live and love as Christ set the example for us that we find in his Word. I wrote recently that the opposite of love is not hate; it is self-centeredness. Be others-centered!
We can't build relationship bridges if we don't genuinely care about those God wants us to serve, to help. We are to be His hands and feet in this world. We must first love the One who first loved to love those that he loves!
To be able to love beyond the barriers, we must be in a close relationship with God; be close enough that we sense the veil removed to enter into His indistinguishable love for others, even when they may be hard to love. When we see others through christ's eyes, we will never see anything but goodness.
Let it be as you say, Lord.
I lay my cross of burden at your feet.