Recently I’ve been reading a book called, Signs of Life (Back to the basics of authentic Christianity). In one section the author, David Jeremiah, tells the story of something that happened several years ago to his friend who was a seminary student in Dallas, Texas. As a part of his course in pastoral ministry skills, he was required to spend a Saturday night in the busy emergency room of a large hospital near downtown Dallas. Under the supervision of a hospital chaplain, the man was to minister in whatever way he could (prayer, encouragement, counsel) to those coming into the emergency room.
Late that Saturday night an ambulance brought in a woman who had attempted to take her life by cutting her wrists. She was past middle age and very thin, and her face indicated years of despair and hard living. Her wrists were bandaged, and the doctors had stabilized her so she was in no danger of dying. But she was in a highly agitated state and needed someone to comfort her. So the man stood by her side. Later, when the doctor caring for her had finished and left the room, the man began listening to the woman’s story with a measure of compassion no doubt strange to her. No judgment, no trying to evangelize her, no trying to point out where she was wrong. He loved her by listening to her. When he did have the opportunity to speak, he told her how much God loved her, cared about her, and understood the pain she was feeling. When it was time for the woman to leave the treatment room, she looked up at the man and asked, “Are you Jesus?”
We can do a lot of different things to try and convince the world that Jesus is who he says he is and that he does what he says he will do, but there will never be any better evidence than simply letting him live through us. Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (I John 2:6)
P.S. I’ve been thrilled with the wonderful worship experiences we have had so far in 2009. If you attend the 10:45 service, you know we are running out of room. We’ve already established an overflow set-up each week in the YAC. The past two weeks we’ve had 56 and 80 people worshipping via video. I love the 10:45 service. I love preaching to a capacity crowd, but I’m concerned this could become a growth barrier for guests, especially if they have trouble finding a parking space. So I have a request. I need some 10:45 folks to be willing, for the sake of growth, to park across the street at the CLC. We’re going to begin a shuttle service next week. If the weather is good, the shuttle will pick you up at your car. If the weather is bad, the shuttle will pick you up from the foyer of the CLC. Thank you for your flexibility!