Today’s Gospel: Luke 19: 1-10
I wonder why there’s such a big crowd all of a sudden. Do you suppose that preacher everyone has been talking about is going to pass by? Darn, I wish I wasn’t so short, I really want to see him!
Wait, I have it! I’ll climb this tree. My friends will call me silly, but so what? I have to see this man!
Almost there, I can just barely see above the heads in the crowd. Wait, is that him? He’s so handsome. Undoubtedly, he has worked outside, perhaps as a farmer or an artisan; he is sound in body. His smile is radiant and those eyes, the way they look at the people … wait, those eyes, they are looking at me! All of a sudden the world is moving in slow motion. Everyone around me has disappeared and I can see only him. His eyes, piercing blue … they are piercing my heart and my soul.
Goodness, he is speaking to me! “Zacchaeus, come down quickly for I must stay at your house.”
Did I hear him correctly? My house? Is he aware of my vile reputation as a tax collector? I am an outcast in this town. Why does he want to stay at my house? I better move quickly, he is coming closer! His arms reach up for me for I am falling out of the tree in my excitement. This prophet wants to talk to me!
There. I am on the ground looking up at him. I am speechless and tingly inside. The hairs on my arms are standing up! His smile is warm, gracious and his eyes are probing. Such acceptance, such love! I have never felt that before in my entire life.
“Lord, behold, half of my possessions I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”
Did I really just say that?
I couldn’t help it. I love him.
If you were Zacchaeus, what would feel like gazing at Jesus? Would it change your heart in an instant as it changed his?
Oh Lord, how I long to see you face to face! I yearn for You more and more each day. But I know I have to wait until the day You call me home. In the meantime, Lord, help me to remain close to you and to love everyone I meet the way that You did. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Susan Bailey