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In the same way you younger people must submit yourselves to your elders. And all of you must put on the apron of humility, to serve one another; for the scripture says, God resists the proud, but shows favor to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 (GNT)

The story went largely unnoticed. A little boy disappears and for two years no one seemed to notice he was gone. No school inquiries. No social service visits. No neighbors or friends wondering aloud what happened to ‘Johnny’. Not even a mention from the sister. Johnny’s body was discovered two years later.

Horrendous! Unthinkable! To be sure. But, although this is an extreme case, similar things happen all the time. They don’t find these bodies though because they are still up and walking around. They don’t see the wounds because skin still covers them.

‘They’ are the single girl that’s the topic of discussion at the office water cooler. You know the one. She’s the one who’s pregnant…again. No one knows who the father is to this child.  Although she is friendly and polite, she hears the whispers. She feels the glares. Wounded and bleeding on the inside, she goes about her tasks, seemingly oblivious to the pain.

‘They’ are the kids on the street corner. You know the ones. Skateboards in hand and jeans at their ankles, they seem unaffected by your stares and unresponsive to your opinion of their dress and their leisure activities.

‘They’ turn up everywhere. They are in every crowd, yet all alone. They are looking for something to hold onto. Something within themselves that tells them they are okay, that reminds them they are worth being loved. They’ve shunned the religious rules and regulations. They’ve found no peace there, no acceptance, no understanding.

For many, too many, they never find it. Never find that someone who assures them that in spite of the baggage they are okay; that regardless of the poor choices they make there is someone who loves them enough to die for them. No judgment. No pre-requisites. No expiration date.

The Apostle Peter remembers the day he felt like that. The day he’d failed miserably and left his best friend alone to die. He remembers, just hours before Jesus’ death the apron he wore to wash Peter’s feet.

Now, he asks us. Will you wear the apron? Will you show others the great love Jesus’ has for you by wearing the apron to serve, accept and love those who others see right through? They are alone and unnoticed; wounded and afraid; ashamed and embarrassed. They are the ones Jesus sent us to find.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, you sought me out when I was unlovely. You accepted me when I rejected you. You forgave me when I willfully rebelled against you. Empower me with your Spirit to show others the same humble spirit you showed to me. Help me to wear the apron of humility around those who, while in the crowd, feel completely alone. Amen.

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May 2012
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