Walking by a pet shop on his way back to school, a young boy stopped and stared through the window. Inside were four black puppies playing together. After school he ran home and pleaded with his mother to let him have one of the puppies. “I’ll take care of it, Mom, I will. If you can just give me an advance on my allowance, I’ll have enough money to buy one with my own money. Please, Mom, please.”
The mother, knowing full well the complications having a new puppy would bring to a busy household, could not resist her son. “Okay, you can get the puppy, but I will expect you to take care of it.”
“Yes, Mom, I will.” Filled with excitement, the little boy ran to the pet shop to buy his new puppy.
After determining that the boy had enough money, the pet shop owner brought him to the window to choose his puppy. After a few minutes, the young boy said, “Um…I’ll take the one in the corner.”
“Oh no,” said the shop owner, “not that one; he’s crippled. Notice how he just sits there; something is wrong with one of his legs, so he can’t run and play like the rest of the puppies. Choose another one.”
Without saying a word, the boy reached down, lifted his pant leg to expose a chrome leg brace to the owner.
“No,” he said firmly, “I think I’ll take the puppy in the corner.”
It turned out that what disqualified the puppy from being chosen by others is what most qualified him to be chosen by the little boy.
It’s amazing how few of us believe in the unqualified grace of God. Oh, yes, God loves us, as long as we’re clean and whole and fixed. But it turns out that what disqualifies you and me from “spirituality” – the mess of our lives and our crippledness – is what most qualifies us to be chosen by Jesus.
~ from Messy Spirituality by Michael Yaconelli