Come As You Are… Left Out Or Lonely…
It is something that many people can relate to in one form or another… being left out or feeling lonely. And it can be a slippery slope.
Wearing a smile to mask our feelings. Internalizing the pain of rejection. Battling inaccurate thoughts that try to settle in our minds like, ‘I’m not good enough’ or ‘I mustn’t deserve to be accepted’. It can be easy to shrink away from others and keep to ourselves…
It is an age-old problem. I can think of different people in the bible that experienced rejection and loneliness. The Samaritan women at the well… Those with leprosy… but what about Zacchaeus? (See Luke 19:1-10)
Tax collectors weren’t always known for their credibility back in those days. Money collected didn’t necessarily make its way to where it was supposed to go. Zacchaeus was rich, but there was a cost. He wasn’t liked at all.
And he was short. Which was a problem when it came time for Jesus to visit. With streets lined with people eager to meet the teacher and miracle worker, there was no way that anyone would let him stand in front them. So, he climbed a tree! (I don’t think that would have been overly dignified in that time period, but at least he would get to see Jesus, from the safety and seclusion of his vantage point.)
So how did Jesus respond? Instead of walking by, leaving Zacchaeus alone and isolated, he called him by name and invited himself home to spend more time with him. Jesus didn’t think twice as those around quickly pointed out his short comings. And the impact was life changing! Experiencing Jesus’ love and acceptance led Zacchaeus to part from much of his wealth and repay those he had wronged, four-fold! I can only imagine the joy and healing that would have flooded into his heart!
Zacchaeus could have stayed home that day… he could have stayed isolated and alone… but instead he turned up. ‘He came as he was…’ And Jesus welcomed him! Jesus welcomes us too with the same love and acceptance. He invites us to share life with him. He chooses you… and me!
How might this influence your day today?
God bless you with His Love and Peace today.