Yesterday, we eavesdropped on an encounter between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. We learned that Jesus was not only breaking serious social mores by speaking with her (gender and religious as well as social) but he was seeking a new disciple. She is a woman, who through no fault of her own, has been rejected in marriage multiple times. She represents those who are cast aside, ignored for reasons beyond their control such as race, religion, gender, culture, disabilities, human beings often not treated equally and completely ignored.
This does not work for Jesus. He is in the world to save the world and by world he means exactly that. He considers everyone a child of his Father and everyone gets noticed by him. Women, widows, orphans, disabled, possessed, poor, rich, foreigners, everybody. That, thank God, includes us as well. We are all different, we all have sins, we all have secrets. We’ve hurt and we’ve been hurt. We lie and we’ve been lied to and lied about. We are united in our brokenness and our need for Jesus’ healing touch.
Jesus didn’t talk about making disciples, he showed us how. It is a matter of engaging and lifting up the humanity in the people we encounter. It means getting to know the name of the mentally challenged bagger at the grocery store and thanking them by name. It means dropping a couple of quarters into the Styrofoam cups held in the crusty hands of the homeless and then giving them a blessing and saying a prayer for them as we drive away. There is Jesus in all of us and there is enough of him to spread around. Be on the lookout for someone who needs to hear his name and encounter him through you. Your voice, your touch, sharing your pain or taking some of theirs. Jesus hints they may not look like us “for Samaritans and Jews had nothing in common” and that is precisely the time to bring the love. Go forth. Someone needs the Jesus in you.