modernelegance: (Beach | Barefeet)
Esther J♥y ([personal profile] modernelegance) wrote on August 24th, 2010 at 06:34 pm

I don't remember if I ever posted this for you all to read, but it's one of those stories that have made a huge impact on me.

A 21st Century Parable
One day Jesus was strolling down a busy New York street with a prominent minister named Simon. Whenever they passed an adult bookstore or bar, Simon would detour to the other side of the street, staying as far as possible from the filth. As they walked, the minister told Jesus of the drug addicts and prostitutes who frequented the street corners. "God's judgment is about to fall on this disgusting city," he said. "Their sin is too much. I'm sure He won't stand for it much longer."

Suddenly a brightly dressed man, with a swish in his step and a lisp in his voice, cried out over the noise of the busy city street. "Jesus? Is that you!" Jesus turned and smiled in his direction. The man leapt from the curb and ran directly across the street, crossing four lanes of traffic, oblivious to the buses and cabs swerving to avoid him.

He ran straight to Jesus without breaking his stride and wrapped his arms around His neck. The shocked minister, who knew this man as Fredrick-the owner of a local gay bar – was even more appalled when Fredrick's smiling face dissolved into tears on Jesus' neck. He sobbed uncontrollably as Jesus tenderly wrapped His arms around him and held him for what seemed like 30 minutes to the growing crowd, but could not have been more than one. "I'm sorry," Fredrick said as he stepped back and looked into Jesus' eyes. "And thank You."

The previous week, Jesus had found Fredrick outside the bar and begun speaking to him about sin, God's love, and the coming kingdom. Fredrick had stopped attending church after high school – religious people weren't too happy seeing a person like him in their churches – but something was different about this preacher. Even though Jesus talked ab out sin and God's judgment, He wasn't condemning – He was actually warm and welcoming. Without thinking about it, Fredrick poured out his life story to this preacher. He told things he had never spoken aloud in his life, barely even allowed himself to think: the uncle who had molested him, the boys who had called him fag, his first boyfriend at 16, the long string of boyfriends since, his profound loneliness, his fear of AIDS. With each memory, with each confession, a weight lifted from his heart.

"Jesus, do You think…would You min…could a person like me follow You? Could I be a part of God's kingdom?"
"Of course! I cam here to personally invite you," Jesus answered him. They talked a bit longer and then as Jesus turned to walk on, He glanced back at Fredrick and smiled to see him standing dumbstruck on the corner in front of his gay bar.

But Simon the minister knew none of this. He saw only a gay man draped across Jesus, sobbing. What an embaressment! he thought.How can Jesus let such a God-forsaken sinner touch Him, much less make such a display.
Jesus uncannily answered the minister's thoughts, "Simon, I have something to ask you."
"Ask me, Teacher," he said.
"Two men owed money to a bank. One owed $100,000 and the other owed only $10,000. Neither of them had money to pay back their loans. The bank was about to take the first man's house and repossess the second man's car. But the vice president of the bank had compassion on them and canceled both debts. Now which of them will love him more?"
Simon replied, "I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled."
"You have judged correctly," Jesus said. Then He turned toward the gay man and said to the minister. "Do you see this man? I came to your church and was greeted cordially with a firm handshake. This man ran when he saw Me to wrap his arms around My neck. You did not buy Me anything to drink on this hot day, but he has poured out his tears on My shoulder. Therefore, I tell you, his many sins have been forgiven – for he loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little."
Then Jesus said, "Fredrick, your sins are forgiven."
The crowd around Him muttered to themselves, "Who is this who claims to forgive sins?!"
But Jesus said to the man, "Your faith has saved you! Go in peace."

Alan Chambers, God's Grace and the Homosexual Next Door. Harvest House: Eugene, OR, 2006. pp. 54-56.
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