Acts 9:1-20; PS 117 Go out to all the world and tell the good news; John 6:52-59
Slime Ball, Sleaze Bucket, Scum bag, Jerk, dirt bag….What do all these words have in common?
They are probably what was coming to mind to Ananias when God had asked him to pray over Saul.
Saul was a murderous man with evil intent when it came to Christians. The opening lines of today's first reading paints the picture nicely, "Saul, still breathing murderous threats against the disciples of the Lord, went to the High Priest and asked for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, that if he should find any men or women who belonged to the Way, he might bring them back to Jerusalem in chains."
Saul was like a bounty hunter and the bounty were those who followed Christ. He had bad intentions, malice filled his mind and heart.
No wonder Ananias was a bit skeptical when the Lord asked him to go and pray over him. Ananias was ready to write this dirt bag off because of his murderous past, but God had other things in mind.
God was not so much concerned with who Saul had been but rather with who Saul was going to be.
In God's mind and plan, there was a future waiting for Saul that was going to bring God glory.
We can not just see who people are; rather, we need to look at who them can become. The potential God recognizes is always greater, always more. This is where we as people of faith are invited to operate.
Beyond the senses God always operates. A better tomorrow awaits with God's plan of action and grace.
Do we do this? Do we seek to bring out the best in others? Do we see their potential as God's sees it or do we just settle for what meets the eyes?
God reminds Ananias that Saul was his "chosen instrument." From Slime Ball and sleaze bucket to Chosen instrument. Who could have ever imagined. That is the point. Even our imagination needs to be redeemed.