The Cattle Were Sneezing
By Cynthia Ruchti –
“But, those people…”
The complaint took on a decidedly whiny tone.
“What about them, Sharla?”
“They’re…germy. Dirty. Smelly.”
Karen sighed. “And they’re needy, which is why our small group is reaching out to the homeless. They need to know someone cares so they’ll understand that Jesus cares.”
Sharla checked her BlackBerry. “Oh. I just realized I have an office Christmas party that night.”
“Not a problem. We’re serving holiday lunch at the shelter, not supper. You’ll have plenty of time to get changed for your party.”
“But, I’ll have to…”
“To what, Sharla? Take a shower? Disinfect?”
Sharla pressed her lips together, nostrils flaring as she breathed.
“Jesus was born in a stable.”
“Well, I know that.”
“He probably had cows sneezing on Him. Or worse. Jesus—a fragile newborn. The Son of God. And we’re having an issue with reaching out to humans in His Name?”
Every time we whine about how difficult or unpleasant it is to serve others, what must that communicate to the God who gave His Son, to the Son who left the splendors of heaven to be born in a stable and laid in a manger, to the One who was beaten beyond recognition and died on a crude cross—for us?
PRAYER: Lord, I’m ashamed of the times I’ve complained about some meaningless unpleasantry, about the inconvenience of the homeless man on the street corner and the foul odor of the pile of tennis shoes at the entrance to the youth room at church, of the runny noses of the kids in the nursery. Forgive me, Lord, for forgetting all the ugliness You endured for my sake, including the foul odor of my sin. Help me lose myself in loving like You loved.
VERSE: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV).
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer and producer of the radio ministry The Heartbeat of the Home and current president of American Christian Fiction Writers. Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—released from Abingdon Press in Spring 2010 and A Door County Christmas novella collection (Barbour Publishing) released Fall 2010. Cynthia writes stories of hope that glows in the dark. www.cynthiaruchti.com.