Dear God,

You have done some amazing things in history; made so many beautiful things and made such and enormous difference to my life that when I was reflecting on it on the way to work, my eyes went a little hazy.  Next thing came this voice,

“Excuse me, are you alright? You look upset.  Do you need a tissue?”

I look up and see the woman to whom I’d been talking last week.

I thank her and take one.  This is forming a bit of a pattern.

Then she goes, “Is there something bothering you, anything you’d like to talk to me about? I know you don’t know me, but I will listen if you want to talk.”

So I tell her, “I’m fine.  I was just thinking about how great it was of God to send Jesus to save me.  They’re tears of joy.”

“I’d have never believed you usually – but you’re not together enough to make something that good up so fast.  Come,” she says, “While you’re talking about that feller Jesus …,  What did you mean when you said it was all about him last week?”

“Well, from what you say you want God’s approval and his blessing and to be with him in heaven after you die, yes?”

“Yes.” she says emphatically.

“Do you remember that verse you quoted on that first day I met you?”

“John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“Do you know the verses that follow it?”

“No.  Why?”

“They sort of finish the idea.  They say that God didn’t send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world though him and that whoever believes in the Son is not condemned, but whoever doesn’t believe is condemned already because he hasn’t believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

“So how does it all revolve around Jesus?”

“He is the Son.  He is the way God has made to save the world.  The only way.  He’s your ‘go to’ man if you like.  You want eternal life – God’s blessing, you’ve got to believe in Jesus.  There is no other way in.  What’s more – Jesus is God’s Son who he sent to save.  That hurt.  Rejecting God’s offer of salvation through his Son will also draw his anger.”

“So how do I know what to believing about Je -sus -drat – this – is – my – stop …”

And she was gone.

Next thing I know a kid comes and sits down beside me.  Well, a uni student, so a ‘young adult’ and he says,

“Wow, that was awesome, where did you learn to do that?”

“To do what?”

“You know, walk up evangelism.  I’m waaay to chicken for that stuff.”

“Um.  I think I might be too.  But she just sat down one day and said something and I gave and answer and she’s been coming back and sitting here and picking up where we left off ever since.  Nice lady.  It’s good that you heard her today.  Now there’s another person to pray for her.”

“She keeps coming back with a question?”

“Yep.  Hey.  We’re told to always be ready to give and answer.  If we fill our minds with good stuff like it says in Philippians, maybe we can always be ready for more opportunities.”

The office was weird.  Everyone said they were surprised to see me.  It seems that my toilet dashes yesterday had everyone thinking I’d eaten something that set me chucking up all afternoon.  Sandy, our department manager was just about to put in a call to the department where Kelly works in the equivalent position to mine to ask to borrow her for something urgent.  Turns out that by 10 she might as well have.

Yesterday’s smoke, tears, headaches and broken sleep combined with the glaring computer screen this morning triggered a migraine.  Got migraine tablets in but not before there was an Elephant rave party in full swing up there in my head with the sub-woofers pounding, elephant bodies packed in to capacity and bouncing off the sides of my skull – and a few of them trying to poke their trunks out through my eye sockets.  And the disco balls.  The disco balls fell off their hooks and rolled back and forth casting reflections everywhere every time my head moved.

Today I really did chuck up dashing back and forth to the bathroom, bumping into things as I tried to run.

By 11.30 the medicine had kicked in and the elephants were all crashed out on the dance floor.  Sure my head would echo with a bang-ang-ang when a loud noise sounded and the now flaccid elephants would slide slowly, heavily from side to side as my head moved – but I could have done something useful – perhaps … if they hadn’t voted unanimously in her favour when Kelly insisted that she drive me home.

Lord, Thanks for Kelly.


PS  Are elephants excellent or praiseworthy?  They sure make a noble effort!


2 Responses to “Sent”

  1. Rachael Eliz Says:

    Hello again! A comment on your conversation with the lady on the bus… I heartily disagree with you! Please do not take offense, as I do not, and hope that we can continue to learn from one another.

    Yes the Bible says such things. But I don’t believe them. This is quite a big statement… but this is what liberalism is all about – and I am a Liberal Christian.

    First, I ask who wrote the Bible. Because God didn’t write the Bible, we did. A friend of mine once told me as I entered the church and struggled immensely with a literal, fundamentalist approach to the Bible, that God didn’t write the Bible and then float it down on a satin cushion. We wrote it. This made a lot of sense to me and my faith grew.

    Now whilst the Bible is central to our Christian faith, I disregard a lot of it. I don’t disregard it completely (as it does give us historical information about how people before us have thought of God), but I do not see (for example a great deal of the book of Joshua) as holy scripture, in the sense that I do not believe that God wanted Joshua to kill people in the way that he did.

    I also take a lot of the Bible as metaphor, rather than literal statements. An example? I don’t believe that Jesus performed a sort of magic trick to multiply enough bread for 5,000 or so people. I believe that story illustrates the importance of sharing and giving as he gave out what little he had (see more on this in my first sermon:

    I don’t see God as ever getting angry. I see God as getting upset. There are many ways to live in God, but whichever way, it must be a loving way. At the heart of my faith is the belief that God is omnibenevolent (all-loving).

    • alcianajohns Says:

      Don’t you think that God gets angry about things like mass murders and people being raped and much of the very deliberate sin that goes on in the world? I think that he grieves and that he gets angry and that he loves and shows restraint. And when people repent he forgives regardless of what they have done, be that telling lies or murder.
      I do think that while God did not literally write the Bible, that he inspired it through his spirit and that it therefore holds his authority. It does need to be read in context of the literature type, however if God is God – then he is able to do this without question. The nature of God – Father, Son & Spirit means that Jesus is surely able to do anything. Similarly, the Spirit moving within people is able to show them what is true. There is much in the Bible that is difficult to understand – but I don’t see that as a problem as God’s ways are above our ways and we are the creation not the creator and must seek to understand with humility and will spend all of our days learning and still know only a fraction of what there is to know of our creator.
      If the Bible has no authority then we are free to create our own god. We have all the authority and the wisdom we claim is our own supposition. This is one of the areas where I struggle most to come to terms with the liberal school of theological thought. How do you explain this gulf?

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