Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a tiger in Church? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be the only one of your kind? Have you ever felt lonely or unaccepted?
We have such a tiger at our Church. Tommy is a special tiger; known for his fun-loving sense of humour, love of all humans, and terrific dance moves (you can see him breaking it down on Sunday mornings at St Thomas’ Church, around ten past eleven)!
He came to St Thomas’ about a year ago, looking for a home that would accept him for who he is. He found acceptance, love and kindness. It blew him away. He’d found his tiger home.
Tommy was one of many in this world that was just looking for acceptance. Sometimes we go on a journey looking for somewhere or someone that will accept us. It’s often found in the unlikeliest of places.
Take Jesus, for example. He was quite an accepting guy. THE most accepting, actually. In John, chapter 4: 1-26 we read about Jesus and a Samaritan woman. Jesus was walking through Samaria, and he came to a well in the ground. A Samaritan woman approached the well, and Jesus simply said to her; “Will you give me a drink?” She replied; “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Jews did not associate with Samaritans, hence the shock from the Samaritan woman. Jesus broke boundaries. He is the most shocking and revolutionary man that has ever lived. He offered a woman a drink of water! Despite the social boundaries that existed, he spoke to this woman and shared with her his acceptance. Can we say we’d do similar?
Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the biggest of differences. Acceptance comes in many forms. Jesus continued, to say; “All who drink this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus came to Earth to give eternal life. He accepts everyone. He breaks down boundaries. Everybody is different. And everybody is loved. From the poorest to the richest, no matter race, age, or species – even lovable tigers – are accepted.
Who can you accept? Who is there in your life that you can show love to that might need it? Jesus accepts anyone who will accept Him. He accepts you. He accepts me. Can we reflect this?
Let’s find our Samaritan woman. Let’s reflect Jesus. Let’s find our Tommy the Tiger.