Once upon a time, I was a little girl who didn’t understand.
I didn’t understand why church people would blame someone for being sick.
I didn’t understand why they would condemn these men—one dying, both in desperate need of hope. Closing their doors. Averting their eyes. Refusing to help, to love.
But this I know.
Jesus walked into that house, into those lives, wearing the skin of my parents…
My courageous, compassionate parents who brought hope and cookies and two little girls.
Together we sat.
Talking. Laughing. Eating cookies.
Together we learned.
Love is bigger than hate. Grace is stronger than ignorance.
Death can be both unflinchingly hard and overwhelmingly beautiful.
Deep down, where it really matters, we are more alike than different.
And we need Jesus. All of us need Jesus.
It is only in retrospect that the details of this story fall into place.
It is only in retrospect that I realize too what’s missing.
The snide comments. The nasty looks.
The voices of condemnation.
In my memory, in my mind’s eye, they are all theoretical. Blocked, I’m sure, from penetrating the heart of a little girl. Blocked by Jesus wearing the skin of my parents.
When I remember this story, when I let the image of these moments settle into my consciousness, it’s only the love that comes into focus.
This I know.
Two men met Jesus in that house—one dying, both in desperate need of hope.
And so did I.