Usually along a parade route it’s the kids who climb trees, sit on shoulders or squeeze between legs to see. They scurry along the route looking for a wall, a lamp post or a tree to climb in order to see and instead of politely sitting in their comfy lawn chairs and clapping they are the ones that hoot and howl at the floats. I’m sure Jesus found Zacchaeus a surprising sight as he entered Jericho. In a sea of curious onlookers along the road and bouncing boys in branches here was an older bearded man, in the trees with the kids.
These days it gets so frustrating trying to convince others of what you understand to be the truth. It is hard to convince others to spread compassion and tolerance instead of outrage and judgment. We are so polarized and hearts are so hardened. Minds are so made up. Jesus recognized an open, hungry heart in a man willing to cast aside propriety and climb a tree to see him. While Jesus did confront contrarians who got it in his face from time to time he mostly sought out those who were already open, hungry and receptive and banded them together. Banding together for Justice is more about finding than it is about convincing. We need to look for people already willing to climb trees and work with them for good. Let patience and history do the rest. “We shall overcome because the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” – MLK