When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
~ Luke 19:5-6
Yesterday, I wrote that God’s ways are often counter-intuitive. Today, I read that God is also the God of surprises and the unexpected. Zacchaeus just wanted to catch a glimpse of Jesus. Instead, Jesus surprises him by calling him down from his perch on the tree and coming to dine in his house. With God around, the surprises never quite seem to end.
I am reminded of Rudy V, a very good friend from my days in the seminary. Like Zacchaeus, he is handicapped. He is not short. In fact, he is tall. But he is wheel-chair bound. And the Lord has chosen to come into his house and stay with him. From his wheelchair, Rudy is still able to reach out to friends and family with his kindness and concern. He fills his share of cyber space with positive thoughts and heartwarming posts. He gives encouragement and strength, when he seems to be so deprived of these. God has transformed his handicap into a real blessing for himself and for others. God has stayed at his house, like He did at Zacchaeus’s.
Stay. God’s promise to those who love Him. Yesterday, we attended the 70th birthday of Rai Phil, another good friend. And I thought “stay”is a delightful word for friends and friendship. A friend need not say anything nor do anything nor even give anything. He merely stays. In good times and in bad times. In sadness and in joy. Through laughter and the tears. During praise and during blame. In the doghouse or in the mansion. A friend just stays.
And this God of surprises just keeps on making things more and better, beyond our expectations. He comes to seek out the lost, to magnify the least, and to make first the last. He makes the blind see and the lame walk and the dead to rise again. He redeems our debts. He saves us from our failings. And He shares His life and divinity with us. He brings so much beauty and richness to our lives, we can only sing in praise and gratefulness to Him. With so much gifts and blessings, how can we live life in any other way but happy.
Sing like no one is listening.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
Dance like nobody’s watching,
and live like it’s heaven on earth.