Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Because you always came back for me..."

Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders…”
Luke 15:3-5

“Because you always came back for me…” those are the words that caused tears to well up in my eyes in the middle of Pathmark Supermarket.

I ran into a friend I had not seen in a while, and in the course of our conversation and standing among the peppers and cucumbers in the fresh vegetable section, she began to tell me about a student of hers. This woman has been in education for many, many years, has seen and experienced a lot. She has taught and helped many from all backgrounds, but when this little guy was put in her charge she knew that it was an unusual case. This little guy though he had the ability to speak, had not spoken the entire time he was in that particular school. Further investigation showed lots of bad issues at home and non-physical abuse. So this little fellow had simply just “shut down” from life.

This woman loves children and teaching, so she was determined not to give up and let this little guy fall through the cracks of the system. She was not willing to let him be labeled for something that he was not. So each day even though he would not speak, she would talk to him and tell him how she knew he was really smart and how eventually he would speak to her. This went on for quite a while with no positive results. She would meet with him and do all the talking while he just sat there, unresponsive to any attempts to reach him. With little to no encouragement from others, she still persevered and continued her meetings with him.

Finally one day after months, she came in to their meeting with her usual cheerful “Hello!” But this time instead of getting a sullen stare, she heard “Hello”. At first she said she thought she was hearing things, but when she repeated her greeting and he responded again she was overjoyed! She grabbed him and hugged him tight and through her tears she asked him why he decided to speak to her today. And he responded in a soft voice, “Because you always came back for me.”

Isn’t that like all of us, at some point in our lives we are looking for someone just to not give up on us, for someone to care? We may not all have major issues like this little boy, but we all have some kind of issues and I’ll be the first to raise my hand. And we all just need someone to care enough to not throw us to the side to be trampled upon and forgotten.

I’m so glad that Jesus didn’t forget about me, that He came back time after time to knock on the door of my heart. There were times that I rejected Him, even cursed Him (yes I did). And yet He kept coming back until His love wore down every excuse I had for not receiving Him. He knew me better than myself and He knew the plans He had for me (Jeremiah. 29:11)

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