This is my 2011 Christmas card to you, my Napkin Kin.
And the most important thing; he liked them. He didn’t hang out with all those odd people trying to convert them, feeling sorry for them, or feeling an obligation to ‘minister’ to them. If he had, they wouldn’t have trusted him. Even back then a person can tell when someone has an agenda for the relationship. What I believe is that he liked who they were. He didn’t spend his time figuring out how to appear to care for them. He just cared for them.
And guess what? He let them care for him too. I mean, after all, is there a greater outcast in history than Jesus? They liked him even with all his wild ideas and uber-serious talk about God and heaven. They stuck by their friend even when he acted really strange and seemed self-destructive (which he was when you think about it). They forgave what they probably thought of as his arrogance (Really, you’re saying you are the Son of God? Really?).
My Christmas wish is that, if you are an outcast, you will be given the gift of feeling both loved and liked exactly as you are. If you are not, then my Christmas wish is that you will tear down the fearful wall of judgment and bring the outcast in.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman, An outcast lover since 1973.