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Fair Wages
homeless man
Photo: Istvan Markus
One Saturday evening around midnight as I drove through downtown Phoenix, I noticed my gas gauge hovering precariously near E. Being forty miles from home, I pulled into a well-lit station where I observed a lot of activity taking place. Cautiously, I got out of my truck and began to pump.

Immediately, I was approached by a fast talking dude with a southern accent. He began dumping his life story on me faster than the fuel pump was eating my cash. The bottom line – he needed money to get back to Alabama. Could he wash my windows for me? 

Knowing I had only $2 in my purse, I offered him a buck and he agreed. No sooner had be begun his trade, when a homeless woman with very few teeth approached and asked for spare change. Rummaging in my coin purse, I pulled out a dollar bill for her and one for the window washer, as well.

She looked happy; he looked mad. In fact, he began ranting and raving about the injustice of it all. Here he was working and she got the same amount of money as he! Initially, his anger surprised me, until I remembered the story Jesus told of The Vineyard Workers as recorded in the gospel of Matthew (20:1-16).

The Unfairness of Grace

The owner of an estate went out early one morning to hire laborers to work in his grape vineyard. He agreed to pay them the normal daily wage and sent them out to work. As the day wore on, he continued to hire more workers. At 9 a.m., Noon, 3 p.m. and even 5 p.m.He found laborers without work and sent them to his vineyard to gather grapes.

Around 6 p.m., the estate owner told the foreman to call in the workers beginning with those who were hired last. Those who were hired at 5 p.m. received a full day’s wages! Those who were employed earlier in the day received the same. They all received the normal daily wage.

Those who were hired earlier in the day were angry and protested the injustice of it all. They thought they should receive more because they started earlier. They were angry with the owner because he was kind and generous to those who were hired on later in the day.

Jesus told this story to demonstrate the kindness of our God who wants each and every one of us in the kingdom. Some of us may give our hearts to the Lord in our youth. Others may come in middle age. Still others may wait until our hair is gray to choose to serve God.

But the Almighty does not play favorites! Whenever we come, we will be welcomed with open arms by our Creator who has been longing for us each and every day. Have you chosen to give your life to Christ yet? Be assured, you are very dear to God who is waiting for you to come.

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By Kathy A Lewis. Copyright © 2006 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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