Tuesday, June 07, 2005

How Ordinary!

I have to admit that on some days, especially Mondays, whenever there is a knock on the door, there is a part of me that says, "I hope it is someone important, some celebrity who is just dropping by to meet me because they've heard what a gifted preacher I am, what a witty conversationalist, what a charming bon vivant."

So when the knock came on the door yesterday morning, I could hope that it was Angelina Jolie, here to talk to me about the latest crisis in her life, or her journeys around the world with her humanitarian work. But it was a single mother from the neighborhood, who wanted to chat about her desire to be married in the church this fall.

And the next time there was someone at the door, I could fantasize that it was the owner of the Cincinnati Reds, come to ask my advice on how to turn his team around. Instead, it was a young man from a couple of streets over, who had just lost his job, his fiancee was struggling with medical issues, and rather than giving in to (as he put it) all the wrong things he could have done to deal with his life, he decided to stop in a church.

I can hope/dream/imagine all I want about the "beautiful people" stopping in for a chat, for advice, for a respite from their lives. But what God sends to me are all those ordinary people with bills to pay, with kids to find child care for during the summer while they work two jobs, with aging parents who worry them with diminishing lives, and all the ordinary, everyday struggles with which celebrities never have to deal.

Ordinary people - like all the tax collectors, sinners, hookers, women, children that Jesus used to hang out with on the street corners, and sit down to eat with at the local greasy spoon.

Ordinary people - like the money launderers, the blue collar Joes, the deniers, the betrayers the ones Jesus called to follow him, and then sent them out to share his good news.

Ordinary people - just like me.

Ordinary . . . and the most beautiful people in the world.

Keep 'em coming, Lord, keep 'em coming!

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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