Here’s a little story inspired by a dream I just had. Hope you enjoy and can take something from it.
I was riding on a city bus, along with my wife, trying to get back home. At first it’s just us, then a few others get on the bus with us. As passengers we’re all kind of just grouped together. We are driving through a rough part of town, and as we turn a corner I look out the window. On the side of the road behind the sidewalk there’s this little white girl wearing a summer dress and summer hat. She must have been about 4 years old. She looks a little out of place among the people there, she just didn’t match the “rough” scene. She’s standing in a place where she’s kind of screened by some bushes. I don’t see her mom, but I do see two black men, dressed in a way that would have you think they’re homeless. They are with this little girl. Everyone on the bus notices this as we round the corner. And you can tell everyone’s wheels are turning, including my own.
First thought, is she okay – did they kidnap her? People may peg that as racist and judgmental, but I confess, it was the first thought that came to mind. A man sitting near me points back and asks me, what do you think about all that? I answer, “I don’t know, i considered whether she was okay, and wondered if they took her”. Then another thought comes to mind, “Or maybe her mom is a crack head and those two men are watching out for the child.”
Then the man says to me, whatever you can say about those men or that little girl’s mom – that’s You. Taken back for a moment, I didn’t quite understand the statement. I felt like i was being a bit scolded, perhaps rebuked for my response. And perhaps for good reason, both of those thoughts I shared were very negative.
I respond to the man, “I know I am not perfect – my heart is not where I’d like it to be. My heart – It’s got some bad parts in it, and I thank the Lord Jesus Christ that he’s willing to help me with my heart. He has helped me so much with my heart”. I pat my chest, “but there’s a lot of work to be done in here”. And I know God is a healer and he will continue his healing work in me. I am far from perfect yet Jesus is my perfection. He went to the cross and paid the penalty for my sins. This heart has been damaged by the sin of this world, as well as by my own sinful choices. Yet God is so faithful that through the Lord Jesus Christ he has saved me from being condemned and he is restoring me each and every day. And this Jesus who took this cross upon himself and rose the third day wants to have that relationship with you too.”
At this point everyone is listening. Being moved he says to me, “you got to share this on the stage”. And I answered, “I had to share it with you. Perhaps this is the stage”. Then the man said, “you must keep sharing this”.
So now I share it with you…
I now believe his earlier statement “what you say about them is you” simply means we have all sinned and sin is sin is sin. We’ve all done it, and even the faithful have sinned, and still slip up. We are all guilty and sometimes even imprisoned by this thing called sin.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. [John 3:16-17]
Sin has always been the source of the problems, but because of Jesus, it doesn’t have to be the controlling factor in our lives anymore. Look to the Lord Jesus, he is the way the truth and the life.
May God bless you on this day.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. [John 8:31-36]