Sunday, October 11, 2009

the least.

I have a confession to make. 

Dave has been getting on my nerves. 

Surely you remember Dave, the homeless man who came into our lives rather unexpectedly in a downtown McDonald's?

He's been joining us for church off and on for the past few months, sitting next to us, occasionally spitting in a cup and singing a hymn. 

And for a while, it was a blessing. Dave taught us a lot about life, about expectations, about making a church feel like a welcoming place. 

But lately... our time with Dave has begun to take its toll.

Our new home is at least a 20 minute drive from our usual Dave pick-up point, making Sunday mornings a whole lot more chaotic than they used to be.

Some days Jordan has to leave a little earlier, and we drive in separate cars, causing some logistical issues when it comes to lunch and spending time with family and friends.

Then, in a spectacle that made us more than slightly uncomfortable, Dave made some rather racist comments about a biracial couple at our congregation. 

A few weeks later, while Jordan was leading communion at our church, Dave got up and walked out of the building, and, we found out later, walked several miles back to McDonald's without any warning. 

His behavior has become more sporadic. Normally, Dave calls Jordan on Saturdays to request a ride. For the past two weeks, Jordan has arrived to pick him up, and Dave has changed his mind, refusing to join us for worship. 

Sundays are a little more dramatic, a little more frustrating, than they once were, and selfishly, I'm tired of it. 

Then tonight, in a sermon that spoke right to my self-centered heart, I realized, yet again: it's not about me. 

Dave is one of the "least of the these": an individual who I am called to serve not because it is convenient or easy, but because he is a child of God. He deserves mercy and grace because my Father offers it freely. He gave it to me, and He gives it to Dave through me and my husband. 

As a flawed human being, perhaps one with mental incapacities, Dave will let us down again. He will show up late, cause us to be late, or reject what we consider to be our best. But that should not change how we behave. 

That's why next Sunday, I will wake up 20 minutes earlier. Jordan will show up to Bible class a little bit later. 

And we will serve a little bit better. 

God has called us to serve "the least of these" because that's what we once were.

1 comment:

jenna said...

Annie, thank you for being so faithfully dedicated to Dave, even when you honestly don't want to. I can identify with what you are saying, just in a different situation. It's encouraging to know that I'm not the only one who gets frustrated when loving certain people gets really difficult. You and Jordan are inspiring.