His entrance into the narthex drew a lot of stares, no welcoming greetings, just whispers and stares. He began to make his way to the open doors of the sanctuary when he was approached by the usher. The man's expression was polite but with a shade of dismay. Being careful not to, in
anyway, touch the old man, the usher gently began to guide him back toward the narthex and the way back to the street.
"We have a strict dress code here, sir, and I am afraid you don't qualify to enter into the Lord's house. If you would like to attend, please make an effort to be more appropriately
attired. We must be careful whom we allow to be associated with us."
The old man, with tears rolling down his cheeks, made his way down the steps once more. His pockets were empty. His family gone or living far away, his wife now with the Lord and no one to care about him or his needs, he saw no reason to
continue on. Even the prayers he whispers seem to go no further than his lips. With no particular destination in mind, he settled on the bench at the bus stop.
A young man, with eyes saddened by the world he saw around him, sat down beside the broken old man. Silence quietly rested between them. The young man's spirit seemed to offer comfort to the old man.
"They wouldn't let you in?"
The old man simply hung his head.
"Don't worry, they wouldn't let me in either."
The old man looked up into the eyes of Jesus.
His eyes widened, his heart jumped, great joy took root in his soul and flooded his lonely spirit.
"They are so focused on the outer appearance, they have forgotten why they are here."
1Samuel 16:7b "The Lord does not look at the things
man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but
God looks at the heart."
When the Lord looks at a church, He doesn't see the building. He is looking at the church body and how they represent Him to the world around them. Jesus went to those who needed a savior and a healer, not the wealthy or powerful.
Jesus wants us to present Him to the world with compassion and grace and mercy. The weary old men, the lonely widows, the lost and rejected, the children in need are the ones we are to open our doors and hearts for. Sometimes the doors are difficult to open but He is standing at the door waiting for us to open it. He is hurting for those who hurt but also for those whose poor choices hold the doors shut.
Will you be the one to help open the door? Can we all be the ones to be Jesus to the world? He had us in mind when He promised us jewels in our crowns. He knows our needs, strengths and weaknesses. He uses us because we rely on Him and not ourselves.