Loving the Loser…

Plunge 01.23.08

Matthew 11:2-6

My mom works with handicapped children who are mainstreamed in the public schools. One of her more challenging students – a kind boy, with too much energy – was playing with a ball during recess. He kicked the ball over the fence, and as the kindergarten teacher moved to retrieve it, the little boy said he could go. Not knowing the child, she opened the gate and watched him run to the ball, but as he reached it he didn’t stop. Instead he kept running at full speed! The teacher panicked and raced after him. My mom saw this and also began to chase (the other kids must have laughed at the sight of a little boy running across a field chased by two teachers).

Across the field was the middle school and the buses were lined up in preparation for the bell. The little boy ran imbetween the buses and out of sight. As my mom and the teacher raced out from the buses all they saw was a busy street. Then from behind them they heard pounding. Inside one of the buses the little boy was shouting, “Mrs. Taylor, I am on a big bus!”

I love this story of victory. This boy bested the teachers and raced to triumph, getting on the big bus. Of course, he had always rode the small bus… In this the story begins to convict me. How often did I make fun of the kids who rode the small bus, make them feel out of place?

In Matthew 11 John the Baptist begins to wonder if Jesus is the messiah and sends his disciples to ask. The answer Jesus gives is a list of miracles followed by “and the gospel is proclaimed to the poor.” This isn’t miraculous until we – the so called followers of Jesus – realize how we treat the least of society. Do we honestly love the losers of this world… or do we just make fun of them?

The miracle of Jesus is that He loves everyone, and I imagine he raced with that little boy, running beside him. And Jesus must have danced in his victory and joined the cry, “I’m on the big bus”. Because in the eyes of God that little boy has always been on the “big bus”, always been His child, always loved… if only I could love in the same way.

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