Well, it’s official. We’re now into October and for those of you who don’t know (which is probably many of you) Fisherman’s club is taking a break from passing out food and drink on Friday evenings and instead we will be spreading the love by prayer walking and continuing to take prayer requests from those we encounter. Please continue to pray with us as we seek God’s face individually, corporately and interceding-ly (I just made that up, the word not the idea).
There just seems to be no other more appropriate thing for us to do. It would be do-able for us if the problems on Broadway could be solved with a warm cup of cocoa or even kind word, but what we are up against is much more insidious. Lance,* with his hands in his pockets and head hung low, slowly walked up to us. The expression on his face was one of warning, ‘Beware.’ I asked him if he’d like anything to eat or drink. He just wanted cocoa.
“Bad day?” I asked. “Yeah, bad day,” was all he could say. When I asked him if there was anything we could pray for him about he hesitated and said that 3 years ago his priest told him that if he did not go to the police to confess a crime he had committed he would be excommunicated. With guilt/sadness in his voice he said he didn’t do it, so he was excommunicated and he walked off.
I’m sure this priest was trying to do what he thought was right and good, but sometimes even in our efforts of righteousness we miss telling the whole story of God. We emphasize one aspect of his character, while minimizing or completely neglecting another.
It seems every week I meet someone who has heard, was taught, or just assumed something of God which discounted either His great mercy or His great justice, His love for sinners or His hatred of sin, His love or His holiness. When I say that what we are up against is insidious, in part I mean these misrepresentations of God, which are packaged to look like the real thing, really close to the truth, but not the truth. What makes things worse and even more insipid, if that is even possible, is that we as God’s people are as guilty of these misrepresentations as anyone else. I include myself in the category of perpetrator in maligning and misrepresenting God through my life and words, and I’m supposed to be one living and fighting for the kingdom of God.
Sometimes I wish I could just start from scratch with people, I wish they could all be blank slates about God and we could just tell them only the truth about who He is, but we don’t meet people as blank slates, and even if we did, we don’t perfectly understand or communicate the truth of God. This is one of many reasons why we need grace, why we need Him, why we need and want to pray these next few weeks. Volunteers are still welcome to join us at Perkatory Café at 7:00 p.m. on Friday nights. For those of you unable to join us in body, join us in Spirit lifting your prayers with and for us each week. Thank you for your commitment to us. I hope you are as excited as I am to wait and see what God has in store.
*name has been changed