Jesus, we read, hung out a lot in the company of sinners, tax collectors and prostitutes. In my mind, maybe yours too, the picture I have formed is a serene group clustered around Jesus, taking in His every word. Transformed people from minute one! Sadly, I think I have a very distorted idea of how it really was and yesterday this was brought home quite sharply….
I was trying to read one of our school books in prep for next year, but not really having time as their were so many sick people at my house to ask for help. Patiently I listened to each one and patiently they listened to my Y. As soon as I turned my back, more came! At one stage there were more than 10 people waiting! In any case, this was all going well, except that they were all very sick, of course, but then one lady came with her friend and two small children.
I have had some very trying times with this particular lady before – she can be very brazen, rude and impolite – laughing right in my face and making fun of me in front of others and enjoying every minute of it! Recently I found out that she is not married, do not have any intention to be and likes her “job” in the village. As I was sitting there trying to persuade her to use the medicine the clinic in the next village, gave her, she was very cross with me as I did not give her any meds for her very small baby (the reason was that I do not have stuff for such young babies and that the clinic already gave her some!) So she was sighing and sighing louder and then when some young men came she was openly rude to me and telling jokes or something that I did not understand in very fast Y…..and so on.
This was really getting to me and as I turned away back to the house trying to regain my patience and love, I was just struck by this thought – Jesus hung out with people like this lady. He loved her, He was kind and compassionate, but I am sure most of them were not kind and compassionate back! I was just thinking that they might also have given Jesus a hard time – jeering maybe at His words? Making crude jokes. But He still loved. He still cared and He still gave His life.
Lucky for me and my spiritual growth, I have to walk about 20m to our house and back to get new medicine, so I had time to pray and ask Jesus to help me love. To help me be kind and compassionate. To look at people through the eyes of God. And as my husband said later – just think how great it will be when she one day meets Jesus and He fills her life!
And so, I continue on. No, it’s not easy and I’m no saint myself! But I trust that God will guide and help where I am in want.
Bella, trying to see the rose.