I enjoy visiting our older daughter and son-in-law in Washington, DC (however, this Country Boy would not want to live there). There is always so much to see and do and so much history. We have ridden the Metro (subway) a lot because it is a very affordable and efficient way to get around the area (trying to find a parking space in DC is nerve-wracking). There are some very long escalators to ride to take you down to and up from the Metro and the tunnels are hollow sounding and, for the most part, quiet. Thus, I created something to do while riding the escalators. One day, on a whim, I started singing (not that loud I thought): “I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me” (Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody). It was louder than I thought, and people were staring at me and my wife and daughters moved up on the escalator because they were so embarrassed, which made it even better! I did this several different times during visits and then one time I sang it: “I’m just a poor boy, nobody loves me…” And it happened. Someone on another escalator sang: “He’s just a poor boy from a poor family.” Then someone else sang the next line: “Spare him his life from this monstrosity.” Then several folks sang: “Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? It was just so awesome and even though my wife and daughters were embarrassed, they were laughing.
“In Jesus’ time (and far too often today), religious people thought they should stay away from really messed-up sinners. No wonder the religious elite despised Jesus. He spent all His life breaking down barriers, reaching all sections of society across the barriers of class, lifestyle, and social position. But overall, Jesus spent the vast majority of His time with the outcasts, the socially stigmatized, and the downtrodden. These were the very people the religious leaders always tried to turn away. That’s why, when He met the woman who had been sleeping around, He knew she didn’t need a lecture; she needed love, mercy, and kindness, just like us all. And that’s exactly what He gave her. ‘Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.’ (John 4:14)
We’ve all messed up and done things we’re ashamed of. But we all are offered the same relationship, acceptance, and forgiveness that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman that day in the scorching heat by the well. Jesus didn’t come to condemn any of us. He came to revive us. It was a message that the religious elite could not accept. He said, ‘I’m after mercy, not religion’ (Matthew 9:13). (Bear Grylls, Soul Fuel)
There was something special about folks joining in and singing (it has happened since then but not as involved as that day) that day. I believe people are looking for joy in their lives, then and now. That day folks were smiling, even laughing, and for a short moment there seemed to be a revived spirit. That’ what we need today… a revived spirit. How do we get that? By going to Jesus and being like Jesus, showing love, mercy and kindness. You know, I am just a poor country boy, but Jesus loves me for who I am even though I have made mistakes and am a messed-up sinner. We need to let go of the monstrosities of life and come to drink the water where we will never thirst. God bless and God’s got this.