by Lt. Colonel Richard Amick Secretary for Business Administration
“When Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.’” (Luke 8:50, NKJV)
I love basketball in March. It’s really at its best! Once again, the Madness will rise to the occasion. This year’s NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament will have its share of upsets and surprises. A team out of nowhere will advance much farther than any of the prognosticators predicted. But like others on the court, Cinderella team or not, they played their way in and deserve to be on the dance floor.
Perhaps having a granddaughter who was born at the height of March Madness and who loves to dance and loves Cinderella is making me think about the term “Cinderella team.” Isn’t it interesting that basketball teams are compared to a lowly girl who got an amazing, some may say, undeserved gift? I’m sure this year’s Cinderella team doesn’t mind at all. As the saying goes, if the shoe fits, wear it. Make the most of it!
At one point in Jesus’ ministry, He was invited to dinner by a Pharisee. While there, an immoral woman came to see Him. She poured perfume on Jesus’ feet, and her tears fell freely as she wiped them away with her hair. This bothered Simon the Pharisee, who interestingly enough, doubted Jesus.
Jesus told him a compelling story of two people who owed money and of cancelled debt. Simon didn’t think the woman was worthy to be around Jesus, let alone touch Him. However, Jesus said because of her faith and love, she was not only welcomed but her sins were forgiven. She went from rags to riches in spirit and in truth that night. She was given the glass slipper of forgiveness and salvation.
Some may think this year’s Cinderella team and this immoral woman did not deserve what they received. Human nature tends to look at a person’s or team’s history and pass judgment, but Jesus looks at the heart and the here and now. Regardless of what we think, she was forgiven when she came to Jesus as are we when we confess our sins and make things right with Him. We all get the glass slipper treatment when we come to Christ in repentance. He takes off the old and puts on us a new, pure, spotless life so we may live forever in His glory. Let’s not get caught up in Simon’s mistake. If we really understand what the cross means in terms of love and grace, we will realize we are all in need of the glass slipper of forgiveness. Without it, we’re only Cinderella wannabes.