Words of Hope: Welcoming Mind
I am so often surprised by Jesus and I want to know more about His interactions on earth. The story that is shocking me right now is His meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well. I read through the story and imagine the scene in my mind. Jesus talking with this woman others would be so offended by…an outcast, a female, a moral degenerate, religiously different.
A mom called me about camp and said she was surprised we talk about faith. Somehow she missed this when registering. She told me she was afraid that her child would not be welcome at camp because she is not a Christian and doesn’t have a “religious” background. I felt deeply saddened that a mom has to ask if her child will be welcome. As a Christian community, I grieve that we have a history of being unwelcoming, we have a history of hating people.
What is it that causes people of faith to hate the outcast? Is it that we prefer to gossip about them instead?
I have come to find judgment and gossip some of the cruelest acts we can do. I don’t tend to gossip to others but I recognize how I can be highly judgmental in my mind. I study this mental space where I can make assumptions and think meanly of others. Instead, I want my mind to be a loving and sacred place where Jesus is always present and anyone is invited with love to sit with us there. A space where I welcome and love people fully, forgiving, forgiven, tenderhearted, and free.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” – John 4:9-10