So Jesus said, “Bring in the poor, the crippled and the lame…” And I sort of shuffled my feet and hung my head.
“…compel them to come in, so that my house will be full!” he said, And I looked the other way and whistled under my breath.
When everyone else had gone
I felt his presence still there, behind me in the room. I wish he wouldn’t do that, but he does.
“Don’t look at me like that!” I said, not facing him.
I could see him well enough from the corner of my eye. “It’s not like I know anyone like that, after all.
What am I supposed to do? Raid the hospital?” He just looked and said nothing more.
“Well, ok. Yes, I do know those people living on the corner.
And yes, there are lots of people I see every day who fit that description,
but really, Jesus! Can you just imagine the reception they’d get in this church!? With these people?”
He still didn’t say anything, but it wasn’t like he needed to. “Oh, all right. That was unfair and judgemental.
Maybe it’s just me? Maybe I just aren’t good at talking to people – Especially people so different to me!
That’s just natural, isn’t it?
I mean, I’m sure I would only be rude and offensive…
What do you mean only if I wanted to be!? Why would I want to be?” I was angry now and finally turned to look him in the face.
“How can you ask me to be so brave and kind and trusting? I’m none of those things - you know that!”
And then he said, “I am with you always – even to the end of the age.” And I shut up.
He always does this. He always pushes me beneath the surface of my excuses.
“I’m sorry Lord. It’s true. It’s you I don’t trust.
I really don’t believe you’ll give me the words to say when I need them. I don’t believe that you’re making me new; making me more like you.
I don’t believe that you are as good to other people as you are to me; As kind and as truthful and as forgiving.
And I don’t really believe that I’m forgiven, either;
I still feel ashamed for all I have been – all I still am. I’m sorry, Jesus, for my unbelief.
Plant that mustard seed inside my stony heart, And let your kingdom grow.
And, yes, I’ll go talk to those people on the corner And see if they want to come for a meal.
I can do that.
Yes, because you’re with me, I can do that.”
Does it have to be now?
It's just that I bought that section and I need to check it out And there's the wedding this weekend,
Right, right. No more excuses. Now it is, then. See you at the party, Jesus.
Written by Roger (served in East Asia)
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