The Visit

From “The Transforming Friendship” by Leslie D Weatherhead

“I saw in my dream that Jesus came to a great city and stayed in the house of a certain business man. And one morning, the man, thinking to please his Guest, said, ‘I will show you the church where I worship.’ But Jesus said, ‘No; show me the business where you work.’ So the man took Jesus and showed Him round his business, and Jesus took an interest in all He saw. But He was not allowed to see everything. He did not see rooms where men worked like rats in dark and dirty holes. Other things also the man concealed; but Jesus did not say anything. And in my dream I could not tell whether He knew that He was being deceived. Taking Him into a private office the man showed Jesus his books and his last balance sheet. Jesus sat in the office chair, and, His finger on the page, read through every item. At some items He paused, and, though He did not say a word, the man’s face was covered with blushes and his heart throbbed with shame, for he could see that Jesus knew all that had happened before some items could be entered into the credit side. Then, very quietly, Jesus spoke. ‘I will write the true balance sheet,’ He said. I could not see all that He wrote, but on the debit side were entries like this : ‘Men kept overtime so late that they were utterly fatigued, their spirits depressed, and temptation found them spent and exhausted’; ‘The wrong man made fore-man in the workshop; a shrewd man but a bully; the lives of many embittered, the lives of some made fearful’; ‘Practices continued after the discovery that they were wrong.’ And on the credit side were entries such as these : ‘An interest in the personal happiness of certain men’; ‘The refusal to do a big stroke of business by an underhand method’; ‘A little trouble to see that really good work was turned out.’

And when Jesus had finished writing, I could see that there was something the man wanted to say, and at last, after much hesitation, he said it. ‘Business is business,’ he murmured; ‘everybody does these things. If I don’t do them my business will suffer, and with me my wife and children.’ And Jesus looked into the man’s eyes as though He perfectly understood, and, indeed, sympathized. But He said, ‘Don’t lose your life in trying to find it.’ And there were tears in the man’s eyes.

And the man took Jesus and showed Him all the things which previously he had concealed. But Jesus never said a word of condemnation. He just said, ‘You will be far happier when you have altered it all. Don’t be afraid. Your heavenly Father knows what you need.’

And in my dream I was allowed to look into the future, and I saw that the man became much poorer, and many said he was a fool. But there was peace in his heart, and a shining gladness in his eyes, and not a trace of worry in his soul. And I wondered in my dream whether he would become rich; but I learned that the man himself did not even care.

And so my dream of Jesus and the business man ended.

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