I did not deliberately set out upon the road
On which I found myself. It started from the scorn
Of classmates who belittled me.
I may have been a small man, but
I became someone everyone bowed and scraped before.
My wealth and power reduced them to silence
To my face, and I told myself it was enough.
They grudgingly sought my favor
Who had laughed at me in my youth
Once I held the power to ruin them. Yet inside,
I knew myself to still be small, and certainly
Unwelcomed and unloved.
But when I heard of the great healer and teacher
Coming to Jericho–
Who welcomed even little children–
I was filled with wonder. I needed
To see him for myself.
Ahead of the crowds
I climbed the sycamore above the road.
No one would see me here, I thought.
But when the teacher passed below,
He stopped as if he knew I was there,
And called me down by name.
Despite the disapproval of those around me,
He sought my table and came under my roof
And spoke to me with kindness.
I served him myself, and
Beneath that compassionate gaze,
The walls of my self-contempt gave way,
Echoes of years of taunts were stilled.
All my life I thought I could hide from God,
The same way I thought wealth and power
Would heal the ache within myself.
Yet I never counted on God
Loving me despite