One chilly fall day in an average town on Sunday

by Tom Batterson

One chilly fall day in an average town on Sunday.

The parking lot of the building where the church met was filling up quickly. Church members were whispering among themselves as they walked into building. For outside leaning up against the outer wall of the building was a man looking as if he were asleep or passed out more likely.

The man had on a old stained coat that was mostly in shreds, his beard was extremely long and dirty, his long unkempt hair stuck out from under his hat. One of his boots had no laces and the other had duct tape wrapped around the toes to hold it together.

Judging by the smell, which was evident even at a distance the good folks could tell the man was homeless and and had probably passed out sometime during the night. This being known since many of the folks had attended the Saturday prayer meeting in which the pastor had led them in praying that God bless them with revival so that they could bring Jesus to their city.

Many of the congregation gathered in the vestibule to fellowship for a few minutes, and someone brought up the man lying outside. People snickered and sneered, some spoke in low voices asking why the police had not been successful in cleaning up the neighborhood.

When all of the people dressed in their Sunday best had gone in and began singing, Jesus got up from the place where he had been laying next to the building and with his with his head down and a tear in his eye went out to find the church.

I was inspired to write this parable by the following texts:

Mat 8 in which Jesus says "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head."

Mat 25 in which Jesus says "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."

And the idea introduced by mother Teresa that the poor and suffering are just "Jesus in his most distressing disguise."



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