26 April, 2011

Would I?

Saturday night honored a young man for a year of accomplishment. Friends and family gathered. She came into the room looking disheveled and unkempt. She appeared older than the crowd gathered. She was easily in her 50’s but looked older. Something wasn’t quite right with her. It was obvious her journey had been difficult. She sat alone.

As the meeting progressed, an invitation was given for those who would like to share their struggle. Silence lingered for a bit. Out of the entire crowd gathered, the young, the nice-looking, the nicely dressed...only one person spoke. The woman. She spoke of her recent struggle and the hope she now claimed. She spoke of her illness and the years of struggle. Then, she looked at the young man being honored that night and thanked him for accepting her and encouraging her. His welcome and acceptance of her had led her to a new hope.

Why would such a young man go out of his way to welcome this woman? How and why would he have shown such acceptance of her?

Sunday morning, hundreds of miles away, another young man entered an unknown church for Easter services. His clothes were not appropriate for Easter Sunday services but it was all he had. The work clothes protected him from fire and ash, which was his current duty. He appeared younger than the crowd gathered. He was in his 30’s but looked older that day. Emotionally, his heart had been recently broken and physically his body was tired and strained from fighting forest fires. It was obvious his journey had been difficult. He sat alone.

As the service ended, a woman approached him and invited him home for Easter lunch. He was a stranger to her…. a complete stranger. How could the lady have known his great need for a companionship and a home-cooked meal? How was she so brave to invite him? How did she know to love him?

Jesus was in town. A very respected local pastor invited him to have dinner in his home. It was a special invitation for those gathered and only the most influential church members were invited. But somehow one lone woman had also boldly attended and was in the dining room. She was disheveled and unkempt. She appeared more “street wise” than the others attending. She was easily in her 50’s but looked older. Something wasn’t quite right with her. It was obvious her journey had been difficult. She did not sit alone but sat at Jesus' feet and He welcomed her. He loved her, He bragged on her. (Luke 7:36-48)

Would I? Could I? Will I? Or will I judge by outward appearance and discount a person’s worth? Would I speak a word of hope into her life? Would I invite him to my home?

How have I boxed up and locked up Jesus’ love to just include my little ‘vanilla’ world?

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