Wednesday, 11 April 2007

He knew my name.

Tired but happy, I punched the centre of my pillow, trying to make a slight hollow to rest my head. It had been a long day but i smiled when i remembered just how it began.

It was an ordinary day for me. I was going through my list of tax defaulters. I stepped out of my house and into the street to do my rounds when i ran smack into a passing crowd. Now I'm not very tall so all i could see were the backs of men. After straining for a few minutes, i persistently tapped the man in front of me and asked him what was happening. He answered my question not without a hint of irritation.

"Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."

It was as if a bolt of lightning went through me because then I decided I had to see Jesus. I had heard a lot about Him. It was said He could make the blind see and the lame walk again. I immediately began shoving and pushing through the crowd. I met great resistance but I persisted. I tried to slip a hand through, then a foot and somehow I'd manage to get through. I thought I was succeeding when I met with some man's elbow who obviously was determined not to let me through. I fell with a great thud, the jab of his elbow on my chest left me breathing heavily. But I got up. I just had to see Jesus. I tried to jump, to no avail. Everyone in front of me was so tall and I stepped on some one's foot as I tried to jump and was met with an array of insults. Somehow they weren't important, not then. I just wanted to see Jesus.

In my misery, a light bulb lit in my head as looked around and saw a sycamore tree ahead.
I forgot who I was, lifted my robe and took off. I used a short cut through the market place. I reached the tree just before Jesus came and I climbed, straining a bit here and there. I don't remember the last time I climbed a tree. And I saw him. Just the sight of Him, gave me such peace. As he drew closer, my sense of awe grew. Then when he reached my tree, he stopped and looked up, he called my name and I stopped breathing.

"Zacchaeus," he said," come down immediately. I must stay at your house today."

I could hardly believe He had called me and although I heard people mutter loudly that Jesus was coming to the home of a sinner, I hurried home to prepare the feast. Later that night, filled with joy, filled with a love I never knew, a love I'd always wanted and never known, I interrupted the loud laughter, and conversation, stood and made this announcement, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."

Everyone cheered and shouted, and I got out my money bag to show that I meant what I said.
Jesus, looked at me with eyes of love and I knew I would never trade this moment for anything in the world, then He said to me, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

As I lay down to sleep, I can't help but remain amazed at how one so great would come to my house and just before I drifted off, I smiled as I remembered, Jesus knew my name.