Oct. 2, 2016

Cross Purposes 11 / Stranger At The Gate

Very often people regard Christianity as a “patriarchal” religion - male dominated, controlling, war like. Drawing from history, I can conclude why they think this is so, since so much of it has been a political institution characterized by the “believe it as we see it or else” mindset - with its infighting, crusades, wars, oppression, inquisitions, burnings, and the like.

What’s needed is not the history and reputation of a corporate, politicized “church” that merely makes a claim to the Name of Jesus Christ, but instead the presence of living temples of the Holy Spirit who know the Lord Jesus Himself, the very essence of Unconditional Love, the One Who says, “If you have seen Me, then you have seen the Father”. The world needs to know of the reality of such people consistently filled with the unconditional love of God.

Wisdom is referred to as “she” in the Old Testament. So, what we’re focusing on here is the quality of feminine wisdom, but not to be confused with feminism as a political movement. This wisdom is the one proclaimed by Jesus [Luke 13:34] as one who desired to gather, like a hen gathers her brood under her wings - even those who reject His work, message, claims, and identity.

Here’s a little “parable” to illustrate compassion as the strength of scriptural “feminine” Wisdom.

Standing behind a picture window curtain where I cannot be seen [or so I think], I happen to notice a peculiar stranger who stands outside the gate of the white picket fenced property that I call my life. For some reason I sense that to this person, the neat whitewashed fence seems more like a fortress wall surrounding a well stocked arsenal of defenses. It says, no one is coming in here that I deem unworthy.

As I draw closer to this soul, whom I “believe” is provided salvation by the same Jesus I claim I believe in, I notice he is disheveled, poor, and does not seem to have his ducks in a row as far as I’m concerned. I draw closer still. I notice he shivers; he is sick with fever. No! This cannot be!

Compelled by some unseen Hand, I approach as close as my fear allows. His eyes stare into mine. They plead, “Please help me!” He says nothing.

My mind races. What can I do, as little as possible, to simply assuage my conscience and make him go away? I cannot have this in my space! No, God. Not this person. Not now. It’s too much to ask. 

My ego defenses are up. What will people think if I let this person into my life? Friends will tell me I’m an enabler, that this is America, and people like that have to learn to stand on their own two feet. Besides - and this is really important - I’m just about late for that seminar at the church on dreaming big and how to have more prosperity in my life. This guy could not have shown up at a more inconvenient time! 

And then I hear it, that Still Small Voice Who says, “Never mind that. This is what inconvenient truth really looks like. What do you intend to do about it?”

Oh, come on! Seriously, Lord?

I draw still closer. I manage a half hearted smile. I open the gate. Slowly we walk together to the front door. Oh, he is such an unkept mess! Lord, surely you don’t mean that I should let him into my house!

Again, the Still Small Voice. “You seem to be suffering from ‘I’ trouble, My child. Here, let me help you. Look at Him; really look at him. Now open the door, bid him to rest his weary bones on your couch next to the fire, and bring him hot food to eat and some hot apple cider.”

You have got be kidding. Don’t You know I’m late for that seminar at the church, and I already paid for it!

“Just do it!”

Well, OK, You’re the boss...” I mutter as I chafe beneath this task.

As I go about preparing the meal, I feel something shift within me. I’ve forgotten all about the seminar, my reputation, and my standing in my white picket fence world. The thought crosses my mind that perhaps he is cold and would like a blanket, so I go to the closet and grab one. When I bring it to him, he is dozing. I unfold it and place it gently over him. He awakens and smiles a thank you, but he does not say anything, as his eyes gently close.

My heart melts, as I tell him I’ll be back in a moment with something to eat and drink.

I return to the kitchen. My heart is for some undefinable reason light and radiating a profound sense of Love that comes from within me but is not of me. Now I’m nearly dancing, as I feel surrounded by that Love myself. It is as if I’m in the middle of the smile of God! No, I feel like I’m one with the smile of God! This is so different!

I place his food and drink on a tray and carry it out to him.

Something very strange has happened. This beggarly, sick soul is no longer that! Before me sits a smiling radiant Lord Jesus Himself. And on the coffee table is spread a feast the likes of which would rival any banquet in any king’s palace.

He says, “Won’t you join Me? There are so many things I would like to talk about with you...”

 [The rest of this story is interactive. Please feel free to write your own personal ending.]

 

Hebrews 13:2 [NASB].

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”