this evening, feeling wholly inadequate yet nonetheless empowered, it occurred to me that I was in the exact right place at the exact right time. How could this be?
First though, the setting. As is the norm, Tuesday nights are visitation night for the church (oh my, careful there, remember, I used a little ‘c’, not a capital ‘C’, I’m cool, don’t call the heresy police) and I usually attend and I usually go out with Pop. Such was the case tonight. You know, if I didn’t go with Pop, it would be easier, you know, I could head out to Mr. Wahibee’s trailer and give him a welcome wagon, thanking him for visiting the church (little ‘c’), do you have any questions, hope you come again, etc. But alas, I do go with Pop, one of those dreaded Southerners who will oftentimes ask someone, are you saved (oh, the scandal of it all)? And who doesn’t enjoy doing the welcome wagon thing much at all. So, we get to go to those whose lives are typically in shambles, a wreck, a mess, a disaster, etc. (hey, I used etc twice in one paragraph, cool, eh?)
And tonight it was a repeat visit to a guy whose life fits all of those descriptions at once. Been awhile since we had been there, as he had run away. If you can call it running away when you leave a temporary housing situation for another one. And you are in your mid-thirties. With a 14 year old son that doesn’t live with you in your temporary housing situation. And you are a liar.
So, there we are, all cozy in the living room of his aunt’s home. Listening to an addict fool himself while thinking he’s fooling me. You know, if you are going to fool the Bigjolly, you need a bunch of sheepskins hanging on your wall with glittering praise from highly esteemed professors. And no, the skin of a sheep you killed on top of a mountain in West Texas will not qualify. Oops, there I go again talking about my sheepskin. I digress. So I listen to the lies for a bit. Pop asks are you saved. Yes. Life is good.
Then I tell him he’s a liar. Whoa. That got the room quiet. Tell him I heard the same lies the last time I talked to him (can you say pin drop?). He starts crying, says he’s asked God to save him. Well, that’s cool, I say, but what have you done with that? Turns out, as usual, he didn’t know what to do. And therein lies the problem.
It isn’t enough to tell people the Good News and then walk away. We must, somehow, find a way to share more of the faith quicker (in business we would say more velocity). We can’t just leave people on their own, trying to make it through their current problems, relying just on Proverbs 3:5-7. It cannot and will not work! Although I joke sometimes about living in a doublewide in a trailer park, truth is that I live very comfortably in a very nice home with any toy I choose to have at my side. And it wouldn’t work for me. Yet we leave the most vulnerable of God’s children to their own device with a few scriptures.
So that is my dilemma for the time being. That is why I’ve looked outside my comfortable set of beliefs, only to find no respite, just scorn and haughtiness.
But there is hope. I was indeed in the exact right place at the exact right time this evening. And I know that through Christ all things are possible. I must leave it to Him to prepare me and our church better.