After posting yesterday’s blog I felt that it was unfinished; I wanted to add more from a faith perspective:
“Whistle Down the Wind” tells of three children who find an escaped prisoner on the run from the police. Convinced that he’s Jesus they hide him in a barn and bring their friends to see him. They bring what they have as presents – Mary brings liquorice allsorts, Johnnie brings a plastic flower… ‘Jesus’ values and appreciates the children’s friendship and their gifts.
Luke tells of two women who Jesus commends. He defends the ‘sinful woman’ who kisses him repeatedly, washes his feet with her tears and perfume, and then dries them with her hair. Jesus says that the widow who put just two pennies into the temple collection plate has given the biggest offering. Jesus challenged the values of his society – and continues to challenge ours.
Brennan Manning speaks of Jesus’ empathy and compassion for ragamuffins. ‘The gentleness of Jesus with sinners flowed from his ability to read their hearts. Behind people’s grumpiest poses and most puzzling defence mechanisms, behind their arrogance and airs, behind their silence, sneers and causes, Jesus saw little children who hadn’t been loved enough and had ceased growing because someone had ceased believing in them.’
I think of some of my friends: addicts who have beaten but continue to battle with their addictions, those who have suffered in and through mental health illness, those who have come through affairs and family breakdowns.
Paul writes of the God who values people as they are, sees potential, turns failure round and then builds the positive: ‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.’
‘Whistle down the Wind’ by Mary Hayley Bell was turned into a film and an underrated stage musical
“The Ragamuffin Gospel” by Brennan Manning is one of my favourite books
Luke 7:36-38, 21:1-4; Philippians 4:8