Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5… “God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself.” I want to preface this story with a few thoughts. I have been in the ministry 45 years and I have never been more aware of the problem of rejection or feelings of rejection than I am at present. In every direction I look people are battling the fear of rejection. Very few divorces are mutual. In most there is one who abandons and one that feels abandoned or to put it another way; one who rejects and one who feels rejected. I promise folks, this wound that rejection leaves is deep and there seems to be no quick cure. Close to one million children are or will be displaced this year in America. They will not be living with either their biological mother or father. We have very few orphans in America but we have thousands of foster children. These are children who have a mom and dad somewhere but the mom and dad are so obsessed with self-interest or addictions that they don’t know or don’t care where their children are or if they are getting proper care. I just want to ask you a question: can you imagine how it feels to be rejected by your biological parents like say a Colin Kaepernick. Can you imagine what it would be like to be rejected twice, either in marriage or adoption? Many of us can’t imagine what it is like to be rejected once, let alone twice. Let me tell you a story that encourages me.
This story comes from Max Lucado’s book “Gentle Thunder.” It is told by a guy named Kenny who took his daughter to Disney World in Orlando. They were standing outside the Castle of Cinderella awaiting her appearance. Kenny and his daughter were is a sea of people. When Cinderella came out, the children flocked to her instantly. She was more beautiful than a picture. She was drop dead gorgeous. She was so beautiful that she took Kenny’s breath away. At first, Kenny thought it must be a dream, no one could be so beautiful.
As reality settled in on Kenny, he watched Cinderella gently touch the children as though she was blessing them in a Christ like fashion. Then out of the corner of his eye, Kenny notice a little boy standing with what appeared to be an older brother. They had not moved one inch closer, when the crowd moved, it left these two standing all alone. The Kenny noticed that the little one had a twisted body and a disfigured face. Kenny knew immediately that this precious child had suffered some disease of birth defect that made him different from all the other children. The bigger brother was standing by him like a guard. Kenny’s heart was moved with compassion. He thought to himself, “I wish Cinderella would notice this child.” Like an answer to prayer she did notice him and Kenny could tell that she was working her way toward the disfigured child. She didn’t rush or brush any of the children aside but she gently made her way to where the child was standing. He was petrified. Then it happened, the unbelievable as far as Kenny was concerned: this beautiful model playing the part of Cinderella stooped, got on her knees and kissed the little fellows disfigured face. Kenny never knew what she said, he was too far away but the picture was worth a thousand words.
As much as you and I want to be Cinderella or even Kenny in this story, this is not who we are: we are the disfigured one. We have been deformed and twisted by the ugliness of sin. Like this child, we were afraid to approach the prefect and holy God. Seeing Him only reminded us of our ugliness and shame. We were standing a far off and afraid to draw near. While we were dead in trespasses and sin, while we were standing a far off due to fear and shame, Jesus stepped out of his heavenly castle and came to us. He bowed before us and took on our ugliness, shame, and guilt. In the story above, Cinderella does a noble thing, she loved the unlovely, she encouraged the discouraged, she most likely touched this little fellows heart and I doubt if he ever forgets Cinderella. I love her for what she did but she like ourselves could only do so much. Jesus goes far beyond what you and I can do: He literally takes our ugliness and sin upon Himself and is so doing, He reconciled us to the Father. Wow! What a wonderful Savior.