There is a wonderful story about a Teddy Bear that was placed high on a shelf in a department store. He was a cute brown teddy, but he had a problem. He was wearing a pair of bibbed overalls and one of the buttons had come off of one of the straps. The strap hung down and the bib drooped over his chest. Rather than repair it, it was just placed on the top shelf out of the way. No one was much interested in buying a (slightly) less than perfect Teddy Bear.
Then one day a little girl came into the store and spotted the Teddy Bear. She pointed to the bear on the top shelf out to the clerk as the one she wanted. The clerk tried to dissuade her, telling her she could have one of the “perfect’ ones, but the little girl refused. She wanted the dusty one on the top.
When she was finally handed the dusty teddy she hugged it hard and said, “I love you Teddy, but you’ll feel better once we get you home and clean off the dust and sew on your button.”
In Matthew 23:37 we see an image of Jesus doing this very thing. He sees all of the people of Israel summed up in the picture of Jerusalem. He looks at the city and says these marvelous words, “Oh, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who killed the prophets and stoned those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.”
Yes, it hurts to be rejected and feel all alone, but no matter what, Jesus is there to hug us and put the missing pieces back into our lives. As Jesus hung on the cross in pain and agony, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t really know what they are doing.” You see, he saw so much possibility with you and me that he gave his life for us.
Don’t give up! You may be hurting, but your rejection can turn into rejoicing if you really… really trust God. It’s not the way we would have done it, but the blessing is, that salvation comes not from the mind of man, but from the heart of God.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.