I've recently been reconnected with my preacher from back in college. I went to this beautiful stone church on campus, Hopwood Memorial Christian Church. Dr. Street was a professor at Milligan as well as the preacher at Hopwood, and I'm quite sure I've never enjoyed a preacher as much as I did Jim Street. Enjoyed, and learned. Jim Street was a big country preacher from Georgia with an accent as thick as molasses and a mind like....hmmmm... who's the smartest guy I can think of? Well, anyway, he was brilliant. He'd suck us in by telling these stories of women named Loretta at the grocery store as if he were Flannery O'Connor, and then POW! He'd hit you over the head with Jesus. Epiphany.So this week he's been running a series called "A Life Well Lived," which is a favorite topic of mine, and I just really love today's post. Here's an excerpt:
"Jesus ate with folks...while they were yet sinners. That included the tax collectors and the self-righteous Pharisees.
He didn't say to Zacchaeus, "When you get your act cleaned up I'll come home with you."
He didn't say to Matthew, "When you quit collecting for Uncle Charlie I'll let you follow me."
He didn't say to that bad girl: "When you quit a-whorin' you can wash my feet."
Nope ,he welcomed people right where they were.
Now think about it: What if we were more like that. We would be free of the burden of judgment. We'd be released from our fears of them. We could relate to anyone- whether good, bad or indifferent- because they are the beloved of God and not because they measure up to our own self-burdening standards."
That's a reminder I can never hear enough. The whole post is here.