Monday, April 28, 2008

My Enemy Into My Friend

As I was reading a book on hospitality, one statement that leaped out at me was "God calls me to make the stranger into a guest, my enemy into a friend." This was exactly what the Good Samaritan did in Luke 10. Not only did this man stop his own schedule and treat the wounds of a stranger, but he took him to an inn and made sure he would be well taken care of. And this was his enemy, what an example of what we are to do.

A wonderful act of hospitality was when the crippled man was brought into the house where Jesus was staying. The friends couldn't get through the crowd and instead of saying "oh well, we tried. I'm sure if it was meant to be we could of gotten through. Maybe next time." No, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him into the house. Can you imagine the joy of the friends when they realized that they were a part of a miracle?!

At our last church we had a wonderful man, Fred, who was not able to speak, hear or have control over his body. Many dismissed him because he had a disease that robbed his body of the ability to obey his commands. Some never got past the drool that would escape his mouth. What they didn't know was that his mind was sharp and he worked designing aircrafts. He offered to encode the audio sermons for the church's web site. Now, you may ask how can he do this, since he can't hear and didn't have use of his hands. Fred watched a meter on his computer that showed the level of the sounds and he adjusted the whole hour-long sermon watching just this VU meter—without ever actually hearing it. Fred would then upload it to the web site using his breath to control the computer. This was a service to God that he was very proud of. When Fred's body was taken to be with the Lord it was wonderful to see the testimony that he had been to those all around him, Christians and non-Christians alike.
We need to make sure we give those among our congregation who would be labeled "handicapped" a chance to serve God. We all have a gift to offer and as long as we are open to learn there is something they can teach us. Jesus was hospitiable to those who were often shunned by society. In fact that was one of the issues the church officals had with him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been away from my computer for several days and am just getting caught up on all of your recent postings. I'm falling in love with Roger. I'm so impressed with how David always remembers to take care of him.
Birthdays -- I work with a woman who goes deeply in debt every year to give her twin grandchildren special birthday parties. I react with such sadness to what it does to her finances as well as the value system it displays.
Fred -- we can learn a great deal of wisdom from the Freds in our lives. Most of us just don't know how to approach or communicate with them. I know I've failed in this area.
Rita in Oly