From Pastor Jim – May 16, 2019

The following story that I received from Gary Hunt may be made up, or it may be true, either way it is a good story with a conclusion that makes it worthwhile reading.

A group of salespeople went to a regional sales convention in Chicago .. They had assured their spouses that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night’s dinner. In their rush to catch the plane home and with tickets and briefcases, one of the salespeople inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly-missed boarding. ALL BUT ONE!!!

He experienced compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his peers to go on without him, waved good-bye. He then called his wife and explained his taking a later flight.

He returned to where the apples were all over the terminal floor. He was glad he did. The 16-year-old girl was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her; no one stopping to help her recover the apples. The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them back on the table and helped organize her display. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.

When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, “Here, please take this $50 for the damage we did. Are you okay?”She nodded through her tears. “I hope we didn’t spoil your day too badly.”As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, “Mister….” He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, “Are you Jesus?” He went back and said, “No, I am nothing like Jesus – He is good, kind, caring, loving, and would never have bumped into your display in the first place.”

“The girl gently nodded: “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me gather the apples. He sent you to help me, Thank you for hearing Jesus, Mister.” Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: “Are you Jesus?” Do people mistake you for Jesus?”

Think of it. Is that not our reason for maturing as a Christian? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, life and grace. I saw a T-shirt on Facebook that says: Don’t just go to church; Be the church. For we who claim to know Jesus, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than going to church. It’s actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day. That is why our Vision Statement simply encourages us to “LIVE CHRIST”. And our mission, like this salesperson did for the young girl is to “GIVE HOPE”.

The story offered this conclusion: You are the apple of His eye even though you, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked up you and me on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit. Thank you Lord Jesus!

Pastor Jim Carver

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