We’re All the Lost Sheep (Twenty-fourth Ordinary)

Jesus said, “Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it – there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue”. (Luke 15: 4 – 7)

People are usually surprised when I tell them that I love political canvassing. They ask, don’t you get doors slammed in your face? It hasn’t happened even once. After many years of doing this, I continue to be surprised by how well I’m received – by people of all political stripes. Sure, there have been a few times when the person I was calling on unloaded with quite a rant. But not many. And even then, those encounters are very worthwhile – because I’m not combative back. I don’t change their mind, but I leave them less angry.

The vast majority of people love to be asked by me what they think about the problems of our city, state, and country. Once given the opportunity to share their opinions with me, they’re a little more open to hearing mine. Sometimes I spend as much as half an hour on somebody’s front verandah –because they don’t want me to leave. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the biggest reasons people are so furious these days is because they feel unheard. Ignored, unimportant, pushed aside, wronged. From my vantage point, the 99 sheep all feel like the one left behind – or like the Prodigal Son’s brother, saying, what about me? What we’ve lost is the precious coin of connection with each other, and it’s up to us to look hard and reclaim it – maybe one doorbell at a time.

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