Three illustrations verify God’s inclusion of misfits, outcasts and unclean people.
Bad men will turn away from harm they caused. Once on a train pulling into a station, Adolf Hitler saw some soldiers pass by. Some crippled, some carried, some bloody. When they saw him, they snapped to attention and saluted. In turn, he ordered the blinds drawn closed!
Even good men turn from scenes that overcome them emotionally. Years ago I heard of a church that had a home visitation ministry, including feeding people unable to care for themselves. A man involved—the veteran—took a friend—the recruit—with him to the patient’s home. The veteran feeding held the spoon to the man’s mouth. Some of the food stayed in, most of it spilled out. The veteran continually assured the man he was doing fine as he tenderly took a napkin and wiped away the saliva and food the man couldn’t hold. He kept it up throughout the feeding. The recruit told us all: he watched as long as he could but finally had to turn away.
Joe Theismann watched as Alex Smith was tackled in a recent NFL game. The injury Smith received was the very one Theismann had received when Lawrence Taylor tackled him years before. The instant Taylor saw the injury he frantically waved to the sidelines for help. Seconds before Theismann was his foe. In an instant Taylor became his first responder. When Theismann saw Smith writhing on the ground, and saw the injury, it overcame him. “I turned away,” he admitted.
Jesus never turned away when he saw pain, injury, brokenness or despair. He not only didn’t turn away, he went forward, arms out to embrace the unfortunate. “Come to me”, he said to them all. And they all came.
Christian friends, pray we don’t turn away when we see human need. Pray that Jesus will make us like him to reach out and help. So they will know someone cares. So they’ll know it’s a Christian who cares. If we do, in their life and ours, the interaction will sound like nightingales singing and have the fragrance of blooming spring flower beds.
Remember, Jesus always REACHED out his arms to embrace. And when he wanted to express the Greatest Compassion ever een in humanity, he STRETCHED out his arms to save! Fini