Sunday, May 24, 2009
A Kiss on the Cheek
The story is told of Francis of Assisi (1181-1226) walking a remote country lane and discovering a beggar sitting in the grass. The poor man said nothing but held up a beaten dish.
By reflex Francis reached into his robe for a small loaf of bread, smiled and placed the food in the dish. He continued on his way. About twenty-five yards farther he stopped knowing that something was not right.
Francis returned to the beggar, sat down beside him, gently kissed his cheek and said something to the effect of "God in Heaven loves you more than you could possibly imagine. He knows all about you."
They sat quietly for a moment, and then Francis continued on his journey. One more time he turned to give a parting wave of the hand. He saw not the beggar, but rather Jesus standing, smiling, at the roadside at that exact spot. Francis had kissed the cheek of his Master!
Fact or fiction? Does it matter? The story is worth telling as a reminder of the fact that we will be surprised with opportunities. Jesus threw down His challenge in Matthew 25:35,36:
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Keep your eyes open, ambassador of the King.