by Dr. Marcus Warne for ReSermon.com, Marcus@DeeperWalkInternational.org
The following is excerpted and edited from a sermon series, “Living Right In a World Gone Wrong: Deep in the Walk” by Dr. Marcus Warner, President of Deeper Walk International, an Indianapolis-based ministry (http://www.deeperwalkinternational.com). Dr. Warner delivered this sermon on February 14, 2016 at Pathway Community Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. To see or hear Dr. Warner’s sermon in its entirety, click here. For more information about Dr. Warner or Deeper Walk International, click here.
Some years ago, my friend Jim worked at a summer church camp, and this particular week was senior week, where inner city senior citizens could experience some refreshment in the country.
It was supposed to be restful and enjoyable, but an elderly lady, who I’ll call Marta, was ruining everybody’s experience. Marta was rude, mean, selfish and pretty well driving everybody crazy. At dinner time, Marta would come to the dinner line, maliciously kick over the walkers of the elderly, grab her food without a thank you, gobble it down as fast as she could, and storm off someplace. Nobody could do anything about her behavior. She was like this everywhere she went.
On top of that, she never bathed, so she left in her wake a terrible body odor. Everybody, both staff and guest, was miserable and reconsidering their stay.
One evening, my friend Jim was having a conversation with a new friend from the same senior citizen group. He was a well-dressed man, very professorial, an expert in 17 languages. They discussed philosophy and a broad array other subjects when Marta runs by them both, talking and acting crazy.
After she passes by, Jim just shakes his head and says, "Wow. She has really been a pain and a challenge for the staff this week."
The man says, "Yeah. I know." He says, "That's my wife."
Jim’s heart sank.
"But you got to understand the rest of the story," the man said. He rolled up his sleeve to reveal tattooed numbers.
"You'll find the same tattoo on her. We’re both Jews and we were in a Nazi concentration camp. When we married, she was a concert pianist, traveling through the European concert circuit. She was one of the most gentle, gracious people you'd ever met. The Nazis experimentally carved out parts of her brain. As a result, she can't act like herself. This isn't who she is. I remember who she is and I love her."
This man’s love and devotion to his wife is a beautiful picture of our heavenly father's love for us. Who among us have a hard time loving people who malfunction? How many of us malfunction?
A lot of us define ourselves by our malfunctions. You say, "I'm just an angry person. That's just who I am." Actually, that's not who you are. That's you when you're malfunctioning. A seed of deception took root in your pain some sometime ago and today you believe that vine of deception.
You say, "I'm just depressed and I'm anxious. That's just who I am." Actually, that’s not who you are. That's you when you're malfunctioning. God says, "I love you even when you're malfunctioning. I love you on your worst day." This is what our Father is like.
Closed captioning by ReSermon.com.
By English: Cpl Erik Villagran [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons