It’s a song – of course!
And this is very new for me. My Grandma Lorraine was schizophrenic. As a child, I remember her as lovely and wonderful in her quirkiness. But, in my adult life, I have always been afraid of people who seem “crazy.” It was one of the hardest things for me about being a Public Defender. Many of my colleagues were great at dealing with people with mental illness, but it was always very difficult for me. I never knew quite what to do, never felt comfortable or confident in my interactions.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. I was attending Celebration/Worship services at St. Francis in the Foothills UMC. A thin, disheveled, dreadlocked, kind of crazy looking/acting young man walked right up to David in the front of the Center and said something like “I am a Jew, being persecuted by my parents, I don’t know where to go.” My immediate thought when I first saw this man standing there very close to David was, “He is Jesus.”
I don’t remember exactly the order of events, but I do remember stating loudly something like “this is a good place for you.” David repeated that, and also told the man he would talk to him at the end of the service, and a retired minister came forward and gently escorted the man to a seat and sat with him.
I did notice David talking to the man after the service. And later, I noticed the man sitting alone outside on a bench a bit apart from our after service gathering spot. I heard someone say that if you engaged him, he would talk for an hour.
I had a very strong sense that this was a very good place for that young man to be – the physical place that is called Saint Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. Earlier in the week I had meditated on Spirit’s Highest Vision for St. Francis and one of the things I saw was a very real “vortex” or “cone” of energy “above” the property. I also had the sense that it was a very healing energy. So, I was not at all surprised that this man was somehow attracted to St. Francis. And I, once again, felt the pull to tell him that this was a good place for him to be.
I approached him, asked if I could introduce myself, shook his hand, and learned his name is Benjamin. I sat on the bench next to his, and told him I wanted to let him know that I thought this was a good place for him to be. He was not too interested in engaging with me, stayed turned away, and said he was just waiting for someone to give him a ride down the road to the Jewish Community Center. I said something else, can’t remember what, and he again said the same thing, he was just waiting there for the ride. I told him that I knew for him, even if he was unable to know for himself, that he would make the right choices for himself. As I stood to leave, I once again offered him my hand, he took it, and I told him, meeting his eyes, that he would be very well. There was a connection. He heard me. And some part of him knew that I believed that. He asked me my name, and I told him. It sounds kind of sappy, but I must say it – I had a very real heart connection with Benjamin – and I would not be at all surprised to learn that he (like everyone, isn’t it what we believe?) is Jesus.
Matthew 25:40 The Message (MSG)
37-40″Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was meâ€”you did it to me.’
Matthew 25:45 The Message (MSG)
45″He will answer them, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was meâ€”you failed to do it to me.’