Andrew walked through the doors and sat himself down in the closest available seat. He was tired of trying to make friendly with people and was curious to see who would go “out of their way” to greet him or join him. He saw his usual “clutch” of friends standing gathered around each other only 20 feet away. Here’s the funny thing: they never saw him. They were not looking for him because it was EXPECTED that you had to group-up before you could sit down as a group of course. What he had just done would actually be considered offensive and cold.
Andrew suddenly became aware of “the random people”. Nobody actually was rude enough to call them that but that IS what they really were: they were the ones left to sit randomly here or there alone. If they were part of the Body, they must be a strand of hair or a fingernail or an eyebrow- you know one of those things that every once in awhile gets “trimmed away” but it is ok because there would always be another to take their place.
Here’s where it got weird: Andrew started noticing who these random people were. He had never paid attention before because he was always preoccupied with grouping-up; anyone who didn’t group-up would very quickly find themselves without a group.
Andrew saw a man who had been born blind. He must have been born blind because not a single one of his clothes matched. Ironic thing about people that have been born blind: they often do not realize that they are alone because the crowd slips away so quietly before you can notice. He used to have friends but people got tired of having to pick him up, or read to him from the menu or tell him he had two different color socks on. The group was moving too fast and he just kept getting left behind.
Next he saw a widow woman. She used to have friends too--- when they all had been couples. Her only other family, a son, had served in the Army and had been killed by an IED. So besides losing her husband of 55 yrs., she had to bury a son of 35 yrs. What friends she once had just slowly drifted away because everybody was afraid they would not know what to say: widowed by her husband and now widowed by the silence.
He also saw Tabitha. Everyone knew Tabitha—Tabitha the “home-wrecker”. Fifteen years ago Tabitha had an affair with a coworker. She had repented and even submitted humbly to church discipline and restoration. There was still no group where she could ever be welcomed. If she tried to walk up to a group where there were brothers in Christ, she would see their eyes dart towards their wives who might not like them talking to that home-wrecker. If she walked up to some sisters in Christ, they would never look her in the eye except to notice what color eye shadow she was sporting or how fashionable were her clothes or….
Suddenly another “random Stranger” walked through the doors. There was no mistaking who He was. A few from Andrew’s usual group gave a quick glance, but they were trained to ignore anyone except a well-established member. He walked up to the man born blind and handed him a pair of SUNGLASSES. “Here; you are going to need these once we step outside.” He stopped by the widow. “I have a couple of good looking guys you might know just out the front door.” To Tabitha He said “Today you have become a Bride because your true Bridegroom has paid the price for you to wear the Dress of White.” He stopped by Andrew. “Today must be your (Lucky) day of Grace: I brought a t-shirt just your size that will get you into “this group” today. Looks like your regular group won’t even miss us.”
Andrew quickly slipped the t-shirt over his head and ran to catch up with Jesus. Only then did he glance down to see what was written on it: THE LEAST OF THESE
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.