Around the bend in the path, this was waiting for me this morning as I walked along. It struck me quite forcefully at that moment how little we deserve such exquisite gifts from the hand of God. And yet here they are. Generous, beautiful, no strings attached, and free.
It's a parable of sorts that seems to say, "go and do likewise". To the people we might think "little deserve" kindness or love from us. Those who might have used us to climb a social ladder, some who perhaps have lied about us to make themselves look better, those who have envied or maligned us, those who have simply ignored our gestures of friendship. Yes, all of those.
Because in a sense, haven't we done all those same things to God? Haven't we treated him shamefully and ignored him when the least attractive worldliness passes before our eyes? Haven't we sometimes betrayed him for a passing nod of honor from the "elite" of this world, or perhaps for the "seats of honor in the synagogue". And yet here is His reply. Light and beauty.
It's a bit of a "hard saying" that this is what our love needs to look like towards those we think might least deserve it. Free, no strings attached, generous and forgiving and full of love. A hard saying, but the only path to true peace.