Friday, April 27, 2012


We all know well the story of Saul on the Road to Damascus. We all probably have some image that come immediately to mind. Often it is the unbiblical one with the horse.(The bible makes no mention of a horse)

A person whose name we should know better than we do, however, is Ananias. Ananias had heard he stories he knew that revealing himself as a follower of Jesus to Saul would literally put his life at risk, and yet he went. He went in search of Saul, he calls him brother, and is willing to trust that the change is real. He allows for the possibility of real conversion in Saul's life.

I remember growing up hearing sayings like, "A leopard can't change his spots." It never dawned on me as a child the number of ways that metaphor fails. First, a leopard is not a human. Secondly, spots are a physical characteristic, not a part of the character. Thirdly, and most important for us as Christians, the expression, when applied to people, denies the power of God's grace.

Ananias had the kind of real faith that gave him courage. He could easily have been walking into a trap that would cost him his life, but he went. He trusted in the power of God's grace. He believed that real change was possible. And he had enough real love in his heart to summon up the courage to give Saul a chance.

Perhaps St. Ananias is worth a closer look.