The Beauty of People

Continuing in my research of the different religions (and denominations) I today heard Pastor Robert Rutherford (a Universalist) talking about what his belief in God meant to him, and what he thought of humanity.

Robert: This a $100 dollar bill. What’s it worth?
Crowd listening: $100.
Robert: (screws up the bill in his hand) Ok. Now what’s it worth?
Crowd listening: $100.
Robert: Really? (spits on the bill and some of the people listening laugh) Now what’s it worth?
Crowd listening: $100.
Robert: It’s still worth $100 dollars? (drops the bill on the ground and stomps it with his foot) Now what’s it worth?
Crowd listening: $100.
Robert: Excuse me just one moment while I go to the restroom so I can p*ss on it. (people laugh) I won’t. But if I did, and I brought it back dripping, what would it be worth?
Crowd listening: $100.
Robert: $100. Did you know that there’s people in your life that don’t think they’re worth $100 anymore? Because they have been spit on and sh*t on and stomped on and pushed around and shoved down and told from the time they were a little child that they were worth nothing? …whatever their doctrine is, they just need to know that somebody loves them just like they are…

He felt that God wanted him to go round to the back of a liquor store where there were a lot of homeless people. So he did. When he got there he saw that they were all out of liquor, so he thought, I’ll buy them a drink and sit down with them. So Robert went and bought some and they all sat around in a circle (all equals) and Robert saw how grateful they were and thought about how less grateful we can be for the food that is put in front of us every day. After they’d sat round telling jokes together for a while, he went back to the store and got some crisps. He went back to them and sat down again in the circle and they ate the crisps, and Robert kept thinking, what do I talk to them about? God wanted me to be here, does he want me to talk to them about baptism? About Jesus? But then Robert stood up and knew that he’d done everything he’d needed to. He’d shown them God’s compassion. God’s kindness. God’s love.

I think Robert was basically sharing communion with them there. Loving as Christ loved. Showing them a piece of God’s compassion without needing to talk about it specifically. Remembering the tax collectors and prostitutes of the days Jesus walked, Robert didn’t judge the homeless people, and he showed them that they were loved. Worth more than $100 always. Whatever our religious differences are, we’ve got to love one another. Build no walls. Keep our arms open to all, as Jesus did.


This entry was posted in Christianity, Deep Thinking, Discovering: The Different Isms & Schisms, Love, Sermon Reflections and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Beauty of People

  1. Klamach says:

    Great post Rachael, thanks for sharing your experience!

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