(October 18, 2009)

Our guest speaker at church today was David Collins. He talked about the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, pointing out that the sins they committed were symptoms, they’re not the root of it. At the root was something else. Quoting Ezekiel 16:49:

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughthers were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things.”

It was the arrogance and lack of compassion that was at the basis of it all. That was the sin. And we’ve all committed the identical root sin.

It happens when we think we’re better than others or that we deserve more than others. It happens when we’re angry at a person and not their behaviour. When we are, David Collins said, we’re actually thinking that we’re better than them.

The story he used to illustrate these points was the story of the prostitute who wept at Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair and kissed them, then poured perfume on them. Jesus was at the home of Simon, one of the Pharisees, when she did so. The Pharisee was disgusted, after all, this was a sinful, lowly prostitute. But Jesus said to him:

“Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

All this made me think once more how we need to try to put ourselves in the shoes of others. This is something I very much need to do in my work with Living Room. I need to remember what it was like for me to be depressed and unable to function well. Or what it was like to want to die. Or what it was like to need for someone to understand me. Actually, it’s not too hard for me to do that, since I have experienced the pain of depression so often myself. Kind of a gift, isn’t it, to be able to understand others who suffer? And I need to continue to be there for people who need me, to the best of my ability.

God has shown me his love again and again, through friends and through rescuing me from darkness. May I share that love with others.