“And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17 When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”” Mark 2:16-17…………
Call me gross for writing about it. It is gross to write about, isn’t it? Even grosser to have seen it, I can tell you quite honestly. But I believe it bears writing about it. Not just because it’s true, but because in the telling of it lies a lesson. A lesson inspired by the woman who couldn’t stop vomiting.
I was walking the dogs one night in New York City when I looked down a little stairwell amid the numerous bars and restaurants and sidewalk buzzing with activity, buzzing with people, buzzing with laughter and love, with silliness and drunkenness, with seriousness, too, with anything and everything typical of a warm early spring evening when people are excited to finally get out, now that the bad fiercely cold weather was past. I was hurrying down the sidewalk with my dogs, as best I could hurry, given the people traffic, when I saw the woman huddled on the stairs, a few steps down from the bottom, a few steps up from the bottom, somewhere in between. She was hunkered down, vomiting over her arm, holding on somehow to where she had seated herself, alone, nobody else there.
I walked on. After all, I had my hands filled with dog leashes. I was busy. I had stuff to do. Not sure what, but stuff. You know, stuff that anyone in his or her right mind would be doing when it comes to seeing a stranger vomiting, a stranger who might have been drunk. Off I went, to bring my dogs back to the apartment. I already knew what I would do, however. I knew I would only be dropping them off. I wasn’t filled with energy by that time of day, or night rather. And most assuredly I could have found something to do. Anything but what I proceeded to do. But as though a hand held down from heaven were guiding me, leading me, controlling me even, I let the hand guide me. Guide me physically. And guide my heart.
I dropped off the dogs at the apartment and turned around. Straight back I went to the woman. Who was probably drunk. She was. Just like I’d been drunk so many times in my drinking days, before God got me sober and delivered me from alcoholism. I talked to her, briefly. I asked if she needed help. First she said no. I asked if she was drunk. She was honest. Yes. Did she have help? Yes, maybe, but not right there as I could see. Would she fall down the stairs? I talked a little to her. Did she need anything? No. Something to wipe herself off with? Yes!
I turned around, went into a restaurant, got a bunch of napkins, and returned with them. She was thankful. But her hands were not only filled with napkins when I left. I left her with a Gospel tract. The one that includes my personal story. About how God took a totally lost, totally broken, totally hopeless woman who lived in New York City almost 25 years ago and transformed her into a totally sold out, totally devoted follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Friend, Jesus didn’t stop in his tracks as He was walking through His everyday life to love and help and serve and save the people who were fancily dressed, exceedingly rich, always well mannered, wonderfully educated, easy to talk to, well spoken, highly successful, etc. people in the world around Him, not that He wasn’t there to help them, too, if they wanted the help. Jesus went to the ones in dire need, the ones to whom God almighty in heaven sent Him, and He didn’t walk the other way and hold His nose and scoff at and ridicule and demean and bad-mouth and pridefully look down upon the poor, the hurting, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the rejected, the abandoned, the disabled, the dying, the spiritually dead, the hopeless, the drunkards, etc. Every person God almighty led Jesus to, Jesus went.
When God almighty leads His followers to broken people in a broken world, may we not turn away. May we turn to God, to His Word, and be led by His Spirit, through His Word, for His glory, to anyone and everyone to whom the Lord leads us. In His love, in His strength, in His mercy, by His grace, with His compassion, for HIS GLORY, for HIS GLORY ALONE!
God may not lead us to every hurting and hopeless person, but may we not even hesitate to go to the ones to whom He leads us. IN HIS LOVE, FOR HIS GLORY, YES!