OK, time for a personal story. I was in eighth grade and at a school dance. I noticed that Wayne was crossing the room and headed my direction. "Oh no" I thought as I anticipated his next move. You see, Wayne was not the most well thought of kid in the eighth grade. He did not dress well and his personal hygiene left much to be desired. He wasn't the brightest by far: poor grades and worse attendance record. We were pretty sure that smoking cigarettes was the least of his vices and, in eighth grade terms, he was just kind of "gross". And here he was headed my way to ask me to dance. Yep, that's what happened. He asked me to dance along with many others who had turned him down. I looked at him as a myriad of thoughts swirled through me head.
"People will so make fun of me."
"I cannot do this."
What? What did I just say? I couldn't say no to someone who had always been kind to me. There was no reason I couldn't dance for one song. I knew it was the right thing to do. And you know what? It was gross. And people did make fun of me, even my own close friends. They couldn't believe that I did that. Their torments nearly ruined the whole dance for me.
This is one of the closest experiences I have to the Zacchaeus experience. While Wayne did not have a complete turn over of his life, I did learn what it cost sometimes to stand up for the underdog. This lesson helped lay the foundation for many similar opportunities that were to come. By high school it became easy for me to help those who were being teased, or mistreated, and rarely contemplated what affect it would have on my life. Ironically, in my adult years I think I have become much more conscientious about who I talk to and hang around with.
As I read the story today, I wondered who I would be more like. Jesus, who went straight to the person who needed Him most, or the crowd who judged them both. I prayed to have eyes that see people as Christ does and the courage to treat them the same way. What lesson did you draw from today's reading?