If you haven't read the book of Jonah recently, do so. It is only four chapters, and this post should still be here when you finish... Go ahead; this will wait.
It is easy to miss who is the main character of this book is. It seems like it would be Jonah. His name is the title, and he is the one who the narrative follows. He has a great prayer and learns a great lesson about God's calling that we should take to heart. But it isn't about him. We don't even know what happens with him at the end of the story. The book ends with God explaining the point to him, not with Jonah's response.
It is a love story. God and people. The people of Nineveh were not from Israel: they were not supposed to be "God's people". They were not of the covenant. But guess what: God still loved them. He cared for them. He did not want to destroy them.
Jonah's sermon was "40 days and Nineveh will be destroyed." That was still enough for God to use it. God was able to turn hearts to Him. Jonah did not understand God's love was for all people, including those who don't even know how wrong they are living.
I pray we can understand what Jonah did not in the book: people are worth caring about. People who do not know their right hand from their left are truly loved by God. God wants something MORE for them. He does not want people stuck without direction. He wants to provide them a way to Himself. He wants us to reach out to them so that He can carry out His narrative: a love story for people.