Resplendent in red and white. Bedecked with smiles, friends, sunscreen, water bottles and cameras, we gathered on the side of Citadel Hill for the 2011 International Tattoo Canada Day Parade.
Everyone was looking forward to the entertainment. Dancers and bands, acrobats and animals: we all enjoy a good parade.
As we waited with the multitudes, we were suddenly startled by a piercing screech. Before I even realized what had happened, my foot jerked, my flip flop went flying and the terrified rat, overwhelmed by the unexpected crowd on his favourite corner, dashed to safety – somewhere other than on top of my foot.
I have to interject here that I have a degree in psychology and have handled my share of rodents. I’m not a mum that faints at the sight of snakes or spiders. The catch is that all of the rodents of my past aquaintance have been well bred and clean. This fellow (I’m just making a gender assumption) was straight off of the street.
It was not me who screamed but I whole-heartedly believe that I was as unpleasantly surprised as the rat was. Neither one of us was in the company with which we were accustomed. Neither one of us gave the situation a chance for reconciliation. Neither one of us was interested in pursuing a prolonged relationship. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that both of us were well pleased to end our brief association.
For the rat, the crowd was big and powerful and threatening. For me, the rat was dirty and potentially threatened my health.
In our dichotomous society, we have the wealthy and the poor. Even amongst the middle classes there are societal standings.
The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have Me.
Although I really do not want to renew fellowship with the rat, I am reminded of how the Lord Jesus responded to those who were not his common peers.
Jesus taught about the care a Samaritan (hated by the Jews) showed to a man in need (Luke 10:25-37). He taught that it was not the healthy who needed doctors (Matthew 9:12;Mark 2:17;Luke 5:31) or the clean who needed a bath (John 3:10). Jesus met people exactly where they were and He loved them – exactly as they were.
Our differences could be race, colour, gender, economic, regional, language, political, religious, the list could go on and on indefinitely. It doesn’t matter. Jesus teaches us to love one another.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
Love is not always easy nor is it always comfortable, but it is always the right thing to do.