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Fussin’ Over You!

October 16, 2022

She never stood a chance.  Her dysfunctional home life claimed her soul at the crib, and by the time she was twelve, the lure of drugs added its own addictive claim. At fourteen, she entered a life of prostitution, following in the footsteps of her mother.  
One weekend, doped and crazy, she and her boyfriend killed two people. Her weapon, a pickaxe, brought a conviction of murder. She was sentenced in l984 and put to death fourteen years later. She gained international attention because she was the first woman executed in Texas since the Civil War. Karla Faye Tucker would not have been missed except for a few people who believed her conversion to Christianity was valid, and that 
she could do more good alive than dead. One of those people who believed was Beverly Lowry, whose story is depicted in the book and television movie, Crossed Over, produced in 2002.
Lowry visited Karla Faye because of her deep need to understand her troubled teenage son’s hit-and-run death. As these visits progress, an unlikely friendship formed. Lowry 
discovers in Karla Faye an unexpected gentleness. Karla Faye finds in Beverly Lowry the meaning of love.  The most compelling statement in the movie came for me as Karla Faye expresses the shocked reality that someone loved her. “I guess there is something in me worth fussin’ over.”
Immediately, that statement rushed to my heart, shouting a loud truth. This is the message of the gospel: Each person has something in them worth fussin’ over. No matter the coldness of their outer or inner appearance, there is a seed inside that begs the question, “Is there anything in me that counts? Could there be a chance that I, even I, have a chance of pulling out of my sin and into freedom?  Do you see anything loveable in me?”
Without this hope, why would anyone bother with ministry to prisons, evangelizing of the lost, or missionary efforts? Without this hope, why would anyone ever bother with you?
The Bible brings alive many stories of people who are worth fussin’ over. Love claims a soul worth noticing when angry Jewish men bring an adulteress to what they counted on as the Court of Jesus. Instead, Jesus dismissed court for her while bringing conviction straight to their own hearts. “If you don’t have any sin, then you go ahead and throw a stone at her.” No one dared. No one could. They got the message: Jesus thinks this woman is worth fussin’ over.”
Jesus recognized a life lived in continual defeat when he encountered the Samaritan woman at the well. He chose her. He chose her to recognize the defeated lifestyle she lived and to break free by offering her living water. Samaritans were hated by the Jews. Why would the Jewish Jesus even bother with her? Could it be because He saw something worth fussin’ over?  
I heard a moving testimony of a young man who came home late one night, as he had done so many other nights, long after his father’s curfew. As he tiptoed onto the front porch, he heard loud sounds coming from the barn. It sounded like his daddy, but this 
boy knew his daddy would be long asleep at this early hour of the morning. He quickly moved toward the barn, hearing the voice grow louder.  Indeed, it was his daddy, “standing his ground” with the Lord concerning his son’s waywardness. Deeply touched that his daddy counted his son’s salvation more important than a night’s sleep, this young man listened to his father’s pleadings. He became a changed man and eventually a Methodist preacher because his daddy thought his life was worth fussin’ over.
Are you fussin’ over anybody today? Does her outward appearance turn you against the possibilities of this daughter of yours?  Have you given up on your brother whose life style is far from what your mother had in mind for him? What about that child in your classroom? No one else sees anything good in him. Why should you?
Jesus said, “Come unto me, all ye who are weary and heavy laden.  I see something worth fussin’ over in you.”
Yes, even in you.
The Rev. B.J. Funk is associate pastor of Central UMC in Fitzgerald. Email her at bjfunk@bellsouth.net.

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