Friday, March 23, 2007

The only person in the world for me...

Mother Teresa
Originally uploaded by ericblauer.

I do not agree with the big way of doing things. To us what matters is an individual. To get to love the person we must come in close contact with him. If we must wait till we get the numbers, then we will be lost in the numbers. And we will never be able to show that love and respect for the person; every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is only one person in the world for me at that moment. -Mother Teresa

Respect for the is something that you see so powerfully in the life of Jesus. Whores, outcasts, blue collar sinners, money hungry rich guys...were all treated with a loving respect that often ticked off the religious folks. The way he dealt with people that usually got the cold shoulder or the scorn of the pious...had a way of transforming the hearts of those whom Jesus extended dignity towards. In our rush to make converts, grow churches, win the culture war and protect our children from the world...we often end up losing the gentle grace of kindness.

I felt this the other day while at breakfast with my wife. A blind young man came in the restaurant. The door faced everyone in the room. As he came in with his cane, the waitress said hello and made a comment about the special and then hurried off to the kitchen, leaving him standing there unaware that she had quickly left. He started to talk to her as if she was still there; immediately I felt a tinge of awkwardness for him and stepped in to finish the conversation with him. Hoping to soften the embarrassment he might have felt.

Dignity is a cry of the human heart and as followers of Jesus, we are called to care for people, to love them and cover their sins...not expose them, trumpet them and seek to humiliate them in front of others. Like the good son of Noah...we need to back into their lives with a garment of grace and cover their nakedness with gentleness and kindness. Too often the church has been seen as the ridiculing sons of Noah that stand, mock and point their fingers at the sins and humiliations of our brothers and sisters.

I hope that changes in my generation.


Anonymous said...

That's a great post Eric, just about as important a message as there is in all the Bible to me.
Whenever I see a picture of Mother Teresa I know there will be something good following it. That was her, good. Or at least as good as humans get.
I do think the longer we walk with the Lord the more sympathetic we become, when young much of life is a tizzy. I loved that illustration with Noah's son.
Good stuff, kind stuff.
Love Dad

Mel said...

Thank you, Pastor Eric, for being sensitive to the situation and stepping in to help the way you did. So many people would have felt embarassed for the man, but have been to0 self-conscious to do anything about it.

Oh that we could all have open eyes to see the many ways we can represent Jesus to the people around us.

I find that the more I try to think of others, the more I end up thinking about myself. So my prayer has become "Jesus, by your grace, help me to think of others first and to place their needs before my own, naturally and effortlessly."

Anonymous said...

For me that's the hardest part, not getting wrapped up in the bigger picture, but to respect each moment whether alone or with others, as a gift from God. I would do better if I could only think as far ahead enough to make it to where I need to go next. ~Matt

Anonymous said...

Wow, after reading that first quote I think I need to get a book on Mother teressa. I could learn a lot from her selflessness and wow....the Jesus in her is amazing and a rare treasure on this earth.