As we have entered into the summer months of vacations, traveling and other activities, it is important to remember that our witness for our Lord never takes a hiatus.
Although I could not find the original author, I was struck by a story I heard many years ago and its pinpointed message in the form of a simple question.
As the story goes: A group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush with tickets and briefcases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples.
Apples flew everywhere.
Without stopping or looking back, they all reached the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding. All but one.
He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, and asked one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain the reason for his late flight. He waved goodbye.
Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the floor. He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was blind.
She was crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her. No one stopped. No one cared about her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her and gathered the apples. He put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised. These he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet. “Here, please take this $40 for the damage we did. Are you OK?”
She nodded through her tears.
“I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly,” he said.
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him. “Mister, are you Jesus?”
He stopped mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul. Are you Jesus?
In all that we do, in all that we say, in all the ways that we respond to aggravations and frustrations, can we (especially I as a husband and father) be mistaken for Jesus?
Chaplain Ret. Maj. Daniel Middlebrooks is president and CEO of Comprehensive Chaplaincy Care and Consulting and pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church. For more information, call (813) 767-2082 or email to [email protected].