“Zacchaeus, I used to like you!”

20 11 2007

I’ve always liked Zacchaeus—until today. I think I would still like him, had I not been asked, by an online prayer site, to think how I would feel if I were in the crowd, and had been one of those angered at Zacchaeus for his unethical tax practices. Apparently, I have identified with Zacchaeus in the past, and not with the crowd: I have loved this passage because it speaks to the love, grace and forgiveness that happens only through Jesus Christ. I have been grateful for that love, grace and forgiveness, and wanted to give that to others. I’ve probably preached on this text, or read devotionals, and commentaries… and encouraged others to respond in love and forgiveness.

Yet today, I’m part of the crowd. I’m angry, and grumbling at the Zacchaeus’ in my life, who knowingly mistreat me and those I love. And, I’m kind of mad at Jesus, too, for going to Zacchaeus’ house—doesn’t Jesus want to hear my story first? Don’t I get to tell Zacchaeus what I think of him and his tax practices?

But we aren’t the judges of that, either. I am not saying that we need to automatically release Zacchaeus from responsibility, and go on as if nothing happened. Proper and just procedures need to happen to hold people accountable. But I am saying that whether the Zacchaeus’ in our lives have a turn of heart or not, we are called to forgive. (not necessarily trust again, but forgive) I am called to forgive, and to let go of the grumbling long enough to see Zacchaeus through Jesus’ eyes.

I should say that I still like Zacchaeus—after all, I have been Zacchaeus to many other people over the years. But today, I feel like I’m in the crowd. Help me, Lord, to see the Zacchaeus’ of life through your eyes. Help me to forgive. And help me to remember that you have also forgiven me.

headaches, roofers, and dogs, oh my!

20 11 2007

I woke up yesterday with a headache. Not surprising, because I’ve been a bit stressed recently. But then the roofers came. Yep. I was hoping to go to work, but my head hurt so much I could hardly move. I thought about going to work to sleep on the church office floor, because the pounding noise of the roofers above was making my head want to burst. But I stayed home, because (a) I could hardly move, and (b) I felt bad for the dogs, with all that noise. They don’t like it. They cringe. Abby moves around, trying to find a safe place to hide. Entropy gives me a look like, “What the heck are you doing to us?”

The good news is, today my head feels better… the roofers were kind enough to show up late, and I was able to sleep in, and the dogs… well, the dogs are in for a long day again.