Getting Closer


In my evangelism class, we were shown a video.  Here is that video:

The video shows a man with a certain handicap, and the only way that he is able to get people to show him affection, is by dressing up in this costume.  This video made me think, and from it, I bring you this blog post- Getting Closer

I think there is a lot that we as a society can bring away from this video, but, I’d like to expand it to a Christian dilemma. This man felt that he had to put on a full costume, and a mask to find affection.  From this video, I decided that he never did talk, but only spread his arms open; asking for closeness.

I think this means a lot to the Christian community.  Many Christians and non-Christians alike feel this same way.  They have sinned, as I have, and feel a lack of love from Christ followers.  They feel like the Christians around them won’t accept them for who they are.  Because of this, they put on a full costume.  From their head to toes, they wrap themselves in something that is more aesthetic to the eyes.  They know that they will be judged, and pushed away by the church, so they don’t allow their brokenness to be seen.  Furthermore,  they don’t speak- meaning they don’t allow themselves to unravel the hurt they are holding in.  They fear judgment and humiliation, when what they really need is someone to take the time to show them that God loves them no matter what they have been through.  Like I have said in previous posts, Jesus did not ask us to judge others, nor humiliate them.  He asked us to show them mercy.  There are multiple accounts in the Bible when Jesus talks about love and mercy, but there is no account of Jesus asking us to judge and humiliate each other.

God’s church is God’s followers.  A true follower of Jesus Christ will not push someone away because of what they have done.  No true Christ follower will avoid someone because of their past.  Christ did not push us away.  Jesus did not only hang out with the righteous.

In Matthew 9, Jesus is being rebuked by the teachers of law and the religious leaders for eating with tax collectors.  In their day, anyone who valued their reputation with the religious leaders would not have sat at the same table as a tax collector-they were viewed as sinners. Here is the passage.

Matthew 9:9-13 (NLT)  As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at his tax collector’s booth.  “Follow me and be my disciple,” Jesus said to him.  So Matthew got up and followed him.  10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners.  11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”  12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.”  13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’  For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

We see here that God undoubtedly valued personal affection towards those who were sinners.  He did this not for personal gain, but so that they would know that Jesus was able to forgive them of whatever they had committed in their life.  That’s the same now.  Jesus calls us to reach out to the broken.  He asks us to love and show mercy.  If we are God’s people, why do we prick our noses up towards others in our own righteousness?  Righteous?  Really?  Nobody is righteous!  Only Jesus is righteous.  And because Christ showed us love and mercy, even in our brokenness, we too are called to show love and mercy. Get closer!  When you truly care about others and show them love, no matter how broken they are, then, and only then, are you getting closer.

Doors


I’m in a room full of doors. The room is circular, and all around me are doors. Everyone of them are the same; except one. The one door that differs from the others is shut. Every other door is open, and I hesitate. Every open door leads to a destination that I’ve already visited. The closed door though, is one that looks familiar, but I’ve never been able to actually step through it.  This one door, is made of mohagony wood, and looks brand new.  Unlike the other doors, this one stands out.  Every similar door is molding, rotten, and looks rough. I can’t seem to understand why, during my whole life, I’ve walked through the rotten doors, but haven’t been able to do the same with the mohagony door.  Every time I’ve gone through the molding doors, they all seem to lead right back to the same place; this room.  I mean, that’s how I got here anyways, by taking one of the rotten doors.  So here I am, a room full of doors.  This time I walk up to the mohagony wood, and turn the door handle.  It’s locked, and won’t budge.  I step back towards the center of the room, and right as I am about to choose one of the open doors, I get an idea.  I make my way to the mohagony door, and knock three times.  Firm knocks, I don’t want them to be unheard.  The door opens promptly, and standing there is a man.

“Are you ready now?”  He asks.

“Ready?”  I ask, as if I don’t know what He is talking about.

“Are you ready to start the journey?”

“Yes,” I answer, “yes I would love to take on this journey with you.”

He backs up to let me in.  “Then come on in, there is much for me to show you!”

 

The start of my new story


Ladies and gentlemen, I have decided to write a story.  I would like to reveal to you chapter 0.5.  As I don’t think it will be the complete first chapter, it will still give you a small insight into the story.

Here it is:

Chapter 0.5

Welcome to my perfect life.  I couldn’t have it any better.  First of all, she was safe, and, I was safe!  And second of all, we were no where near where they were, and surely, they wouldn’t come looking for me.  This life, to us, was paradise.  Let me show you why!  The house was victorian era, gorgeous, with two maple trees in the front yard which made the loop of the driveway.  They had asked  if we wanted the drive paved, since the dirt road had been eroding over time, but I steadily declined.  The dirt road gave it an authentic look.  The back yard though, was in mint condition and the view was spectacular, especially in the early evening. The shade of the mountain and lack of civilization made the stars visible even while the sun was still up.  This particular day was different, to some it might have been called a muggy day, but the mist being broken over the face of Cliffwall Mountain was indescribable.  We had decided that photography on a misty day like this could be profitable, so we were on our way to find a good place near the base of the mountain to capture the scene. She was in the passenger seat.  I really liked this girl, and the weird thing is, she really liked me too.  Her greenish hazel eyes was what had caught my attention the first time I ever saw her. Right out of the crowd.  But she must have noticed me that first time too; I’m sure she did.  But she had never given me the reward of knowing it.  Well that was then, now she was mine.  My best friend and the sexiest woman in the world, especially in her hiking boots.  Her fingers weaved their way through my light brown hair, while I kept my focus on the road.  When I was younger, I was a blond, but now it was much darker.  It was at least a few shades darker than her dirty blond hair, which she held as one of her favorite features.  And I promise, her hair wouldn’t disappoint even the most skeptical critics, as it sparkled in the sun.  That is, when there was sun.  But even without the sun, everyday with her was a sunny one.

Pause. I must have been dreaming. What is this empty bare mattress? Oh yea.  It’s mine.  My forehead is sweating, and I wish I could have continued in that beautiful dream, but unfortunately, I was back.  I closed my eyes for just another glimpse.  Just another glimpse at perfection.  So now what? I guess I should tell you the real story. What really happened to me.  It’s a long story.  But then again, I’m sure you have time.

It all started when I was fourteen years old. Old Man Jones down the street had made a deal with me.  If I brought him a percentage of my revenue, he would give me all the cigarettes I needed to sell to my shool buddies.  Of course he knew I smoked most of the product to myself; he was still making money.  His deal with me was that I would sell the cheapest cigarettes he had in stock for top dollar.  And even though they were very expensive, all my friends would buy them from me because they were fourteen, and where else would a fourteen year old get tobacco.