We passed them on the busy interstate the other morning on our way into town to buy groceries. They were chained onto the trailer of the huge semi, bouncing and jiggling their way to their doom. I wondered, as I looked at the crushed fenders and dented body parts, what their stories were. How had they come to such a desperate state where the only solution was a trip to the junk yard?
We are surrounded by broken, imperfect things. My husband couldn't bear to cut down that little oak. From its earliest days it had been surrounded by cedar trees that pushed and crowded until it couldn't possibly grow straight and true like all the other trees. And so it leans. It has a special place in my heart for the leaning. It is doing its very best.
What of the broken, wounded, "leaning" people in our lives. Not, perhaps, the ones we know and can see beneath the surface to the wonder of them. But the ones we pass as we walk through our days; the ones who slip quietly into a seat at church - noticed only for their difference.
What will happen if we don't look with Jesus' eyes? Would we pile them like so many crumpled cars and haul them off to a place where they don't make us feel uncomfortable? Surely the church is the one place where they can come just as they are and find healing and restoration - and above all love and acceptance.
linking to Emily today