One night a shoemaker named Conrad had a dream that the next day Jesus was coming to his humble shop. He got up early the next morning, and went to the woods to gather green boughs to decorate his shop, in order to receive so great a Guest.
Stood Up By Jesus?
He waited all morning and the only thing that happened was that an old man shuffled up, asking to rest. Conrad, the shoemaker, saw that his shoes were worn through, so he brought the man in. “I’ll give you a new pair”, he said, and put on the old man the sturdiest shoes in the shop before sending him on his way.
He waited through the afternoon, and the only happening was that an old woman under a heavy load of firewood came by. She was weary, and, out of compassion, Conrad brought her in and gave her some of the food he had prepared for Jesus. She ate heartily, for she was very hungry. And refreshed, she went on her way.
Then, as the shades of night began to fall, there came into his shop a lost child, crying bitterly. Conrad was annoyed because it was necessary to leave his shop in order to take the child home.
Returning, he was convinced that he had missed the Lord. Sadly, he lived through the moments as he had imagined them: the knock, the call, the latch pulled up, the lighted face, the offered cup. He would have kissed the hands where the nails had been, he would have washed the feet where the spikes had entered. Then the Lord would have sat with him, would have broken bread………….
Conrad cried, “Why is it Lord, that your feet delay? Have you forgotten that this was the day?”
Then, soft in the silence, a voice he heard: “Lift up your heart, for I kept my word. Three times I came to your friendly door. Three times my shadow was on your floor:
I was the beggar with the bruised feet.
I was the woman you gave to eat.
I was the crying child on the street”.
Meeting Jesus In Disguise
Even now Jesus comes to us in humble ways. Think back on your week and ask yourself: When did Jesus cross my path in disguise and give me an opportunity to serve Him? In the Parable of the Sheep and Goats (Mathew 25:31-46), Jesus teaches us that He gives us many opportunities to serve him here on earth. When we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and invite in the stranger, Jesus says “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt. 25:40).
Oh Lord, open our eyes so that we can recognize You in other people so that we can serve You in a way that You are worthy to be served. May we love You in others with the love You have loved us with. Amen.