I saw an athletic event at an outdoor stadium. The athletes were highly skilled and the competition fierce. There were many spectators cheering for the champions. As the event neared its conclusion, a weaker participant faltered and fell. Falling to the field he was broken and defeated. The crowd was silent and seated bearing with humiliation for the loser. Then from the stands a solitary figure stood and walked onto the field, helped the fallen athlete to his feet, embraced him in friendship and exited, not shying from the crowd’s contempt for defeat.
I marveled at the sight…of such a selfless, brave act of compassion and support. What a statement this man was making; what courage and unconditional love, to stand with the fallen against the crowd. That is who I want to be; as I wondered at the value and depth of character such an act displayed. Surely, this vision was encouragement for me to fulfill my destiny. Longing to see myself as this man, I strained to get his perspective…but I could not. I replayed it again in my thoughts. My desire was for compassion and mercy, I tried to picture his face clearly. I tried to identify him and put myself in his place, but I could not.
In my mind I scanned the scene again. Could I identify with anyone in this vision? What perspective could I identify as my own? Searching the crowd, the players, the field, finally, I caught the face of the athlete as he stumbled in defeat. I could see the ground coming up and feel the pain, humiliation, and disappointment of failure. I was the loser! Looking up I saw the man from the crowd coming to my side. Now, his face was clear, it was Jesus, my friend. I wept as he lifted me into his embrace. Now the vision was clear in every respect, and so was its giver, my Lord.
God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things – and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. 1 Cor. 1:27-29