Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What to do with John?

The next time a gentleman like John (a subject of an earlier post) turns up at your church and it is necessary for you to break attendance of the sermon to minister to him, think of who John is.

Philip Yancey identifies the dignity of every human being. For in every human being there is an image of God: 

“Sometimes, as I sit and watch a child struggle to do just the right job of representing God’s face, His features, the shape of His head the cast of His countenance, I think back to my days of working in Dorothy Day’s Catholic Worker soup kitchen. One afternoon, after several of us had struggled with a ‘wino’, a ‘Bowery bum’, an angry, cursing, truculent man of fifty or so, with long gray hair, a full, scraggly beard, a huge scar on his right cheek, a mouth with virtually no teeth, and bloodshot eyes, one of which had a terrible tic, she told us, ‘For all we know he might be God Himself come here to test us, so let us treat him as an honored guest and look at his face as if it is the most beautiful one we can imagine.”

Dr Robert Coles, The Spiritual Life of Children, cited in Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey as to how he Yancey learned to understand the dignity of every human being.


Note: all links good as at 21 June 2017

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