A Piece of String…
The story is told by Guy de Maupassant of a peasant on his way to town. He sees a little piece of string on the road. Being thrifty, he leans over to pick it up, then notices his old enemy, the harness maker, watching him. He thinks “He will think I am miserly to pick up a little piece of string out of the dirt.” So he hid the little piece of string in his coat, pretending he was looking for something else that he couldn’t find.
Later, the town crier announces that a rich man’s purse had been lost on the road. The harness maker accuses the peasant to the mayor and the peasant protests, saying “Oh no, it was just a little piece of string!” But no one believed him, even after someone else found the purse the townspeople still believed the peasant had been involved.
This so bothered the peasant that everywhere he went he loudly defended himself shouting, “It was just a piece of string!” But the more he said it, the more the people clacked their tongues and knowingly nudged each other.*
To be accused falsely, to be rejected unjustly. We have probably all known it to some degree. Jesus knew if to the fullest degree. Jesus did nothing wrong. Jesus could throw out the challenge “Can any of you prove me guilty of sin?” (John 8:46) and have it return unanswered, yet with accusation “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?” (v.48)
The unfortunate thing is that as Jesus is likened to the peasant in the story above, it is we who are the harness maker… the mayor… the townspeople.
Jesus wants greater entry into our hearts… into your heart… my heart. Do we fear He will disrupt our ordered lives? Do we reject Him because it is simpler to believes a lie, to hold to our prideful boast, than to surrender ourselves to accommodate the Truth?
It is we who are the evil ones, not He. It is we indeed who need His disruption, His intervention, His transformation.
He is still pleading to us.
What will be your response?
*from Criticizing, by William J. Diehm, pgs. 114-115 (paraphrased.)