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    Pointing The Way

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    I'm not one to watch the news a lot, therefore I'm usually only mildly aware of world events at a surface level. Sometimes it's not even that much and I'm completely unaware.

    Unfortunately though, I would need a rock larger than the one I'm living under to miss the case otherwise known as Ferguson that's been in the news lately.

    What a tragedy.

    I always find it saddening when the enemy is able to (John 10:10) steal, kill and destroy.

    What I think might be even more troubling is if we missed the opportunity at abundant life that Jesus talks about here in that same passage.

    What I'm not doing here is justifying bad behavior or making excuses for either side.

    What I do propose is that there is a lesson to be learned. There is a cry to be heard and a difference to be made.

    As I was learning of this case and playing out the scene of events in my mind, I had to picture things differently for a moment.

    I saw a young man wandering aimlessly down a street. His clothes were dirty and his pockets full of belongings that weren't his. He was doing what he'd seen done many times before. 

    His face would have been full of tears if he'd had the chance to know any emotion at all. Instead his expression was blank and void from years of this empty life. Disappointment, regret and anger will take the sparkle out of the brightest eyes.

    His shoulders were bent, his steps were slow. He dreaded the day ahead. 

    An older gentleman walked by and reached out his hand. " Come with me young man. Let's get something to eat and sit to talk for a while."

    He didn't respond. What did this man want from him and why? Nobody ever offered anything good without wanting something in return.

    The gentleman persisted and touched him on the shoulder, "Tell me your name son and what it is that you like to do. I've got all the time in the world."

    The young man thought it was strange but he didn't have anything better to do so he followed the gentleman down the street and into a diner. He'd been a follower all of his life, so why not see where this man might lead. Probably not, but just maybe, he had something new to offer.

    Did he ever.

    You know the rest of the story.

    In my mind more than a hungry belly is fed. Living water  and the bread of life is offered. A relationship is formed and Christ himself is shown in a very tangible way to a young troubled life that day.

    Change doesn't happen overnight but ever so slowly the young man accepts Christ and follows the discipleship offered by the older gentleman.

    As he graduates college and interviews for his first job he thinks to himself, "If someone had not taken the time to show me The Way…"

    Are the people of Ferguson unlike any other town in any region of this country? Aren't those involved just like us? For the most part I'd say we are all the same. We live our lives and we do what we do mostly because we want to gratify our flesh.

    A young man makes a bad choice to fill a void. A young cop does his job justly but carries the repercussions of doubt for the rest of his life. A town, a nation rather, rises up with years full of pent up  bitterness and anger screaming in anguish, "Lets go and make this right."

    And all the while Jesus is saying, "Come."

    "Bring your burdens to me and I will make you whole."

    And he's looking to his people to be first responders to the scene. How will they ever know Him if we don't take the time to make Him known?

    So, about that abundant life I was talking about in John chapter 10? Here's what I propose:

    I'd say we live abundantly by giving our own lives away. It defies logic but it works every time.

    When we see a lonely soul walking down the street, down the aisle at the grocery store, or just anyone that the Spirit prompts us to move toward, I'd say we go.

    "But what if I'm rejected, Angel?" Go anyway.

    "What if they don't like me?" Sometimes they wont at first. Sometimes never.

    "I don't know what to say." Talk to them like a normal human being, the push past awkward usually wont take long.

    You just do your best and the Spirit will equip you to do the rest.

    Honestly, the problem of young and un-discipled souls is bigger than any one or two of us alone will ever fix.  But does that mean we shouldn't even try?

    I think not.

    The world is changed one life at a time. Now go. Go and live abundantly. Love on one unloveable soul today and see the sparkle light up in a dull eye.

    That's what we're called to do; point the way to the One. That's the only thing that will ever make a real difference.

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