Just a lowly street man, that’s all he was. Ill, bedraggled, poor, and suffering for 38 long years. And there he lay, near the healing waters, always hoping for a miracle or cure. Waiting for someone, anyone, to notice him. To see his need, and help him into the water.
Darkness and despair emanated from her eyes, sounding the cry for help her lips could not utter. But when I’d invited her, “Come for coffee. It’s not good to stay alone,” I had no idea I was inviting HER. And even less did I realize she was taboo. Not to associate with. No, I didn’t know.
“Why don’t they want him to sing Nonna (Grandma)?” my 6-year old grandson wondered. “He sings good.” He just couldn’t understand why – during the Rafe Hollister Sings espisode of the Andy Griffith Show – Mayberry’s mayor and a leading citizen (Mrs. Jeffrie) didn’t want Mr. Hollister to represent their town at a musical event.
Do you sometimes feel like a misfit or useless? Or even worse, think of others as such? We cannot see behind their scenes, and neither can others see ours. Many did not even notice the poor widow in the temple who put all she had in the offering.
When Christ appeared on the scene, it was during a time of hatred, factions, and divisions. Judaism was split into three factions: the middle class Pharisees, rich aristocratic Sadducees, and the Essenes who had taken vows of poverty. All three disliked each other and looked down on the Galileans, whom they viewed as uneducated country people.
Rabbis in Christ’s time used the following saying to express their disdain of Galilee. They proudly viewed Judea, with its traditional lore and religious academies, as far superior to Israel’s northern regions. And they could find no words strong enough to express their arrogant dislike of their northern Galilean cousins, from Nazareth in particular.