"An Inside Perspective"

May 2005

My dear family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ I It was July 27, 1991, a hot and sweltering afternoon of about 100 degrees. I was at the end of twenty straight years of daily drug use. Subtly and with much patience, sin had taken its toll in my life. It now had me on my knees and death, the very crown of sin, was kicking down my door with its insatiable appetite. It is written, “For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” It was that very day that I came to know the humility of God as Savior in Christ.

I am reminded of a story in which an unbelieving husband and a believing wife interacted for years about the Lord. It was a Christmas eve and the women was desirous that her husband attend church with her. As was her yearly custom, she pleaded with him to come but to no avail. “I don’t know why you believe in that nonsense anyway,” he carped. Discouraged and yet with a glint of blood-bought hope, she went off to services alone, praying on his behalf. Meanwhile at home, the husband eased into his favorite chair in front of the picture window to watch TV. Suddenly, as the snow was lightly falling, the silence was broken with a “peck—peck—peck” on the window. Looking inquisitively, he saw a small bird sitting on the window ledge shivering intensely and staring right at him. He thought, “Look at this poor bird freezing to death, if I could just get him into the barn, he would be O.K.” He went out the side door and tried “shooing” the bird into the barn but as soon as it saw him, it flew off in fear. He thought, “That stupid bird doesn’t understand that I am trying to save it.” Frustrated, he went back inside and settled into the comfort of his warm chair. After a couple minutes he heard “peck-peck-peck” and sure enough, there was the bird again. Once again, he got up and went outside trying to get the bird into the barn with no success. This time he thought, “1 know what this bird needs and he won’t let me help him, the heck with this stupid bird.” Inside again, he heard “peck-peck-peck” and the whole process repeated itself again. Finally, he sat there and thought, “If I could only become a bird, I could then explain everything to him.” At that very moment, he heard the church bell ring and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the purpose for the incarnation came home clearly to his heart. He saw that God had done just that very thing for him in Christ! He was that bird! What joy he had that night in telling his wife how he came to believe!

God humbled Himself to become a man. More so, for me personally, on that hot summer day, in a dirty roach infested hole, God chose to reveal Himself through a man named Tony. That day Christ saved a wretch like me, a bird on His window sill. It is written, “You know the grace that was our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, for your sakes He became poor, that through His poverty we might become rich.”

I am again reminded of a women who was in a terrible car accident and became badly disfigured. For months her whole face was covered with bandages while she was recovering. Everyday her husband was faithfully by her side with words of encouragement and hope. The doctors said that she would never be the same, plastic surgery could only do so much. Being sensitive of her looks, the women despaired that her husband would no longer be attracted to her. Oh, how she had loved to be kissed by her husband. Finally, the day came for the bandages to be removed. The women fretted with great fear, “Would he still want me?” As the husband sat by expectantly, the doctor removed the bandages revealing the women’s still badly twisted and contorted mouth. Without missing a beat, the husband sprang to his feet, twisted and contorted his own mouth to match hers exactly and then gently, softly and ever so lovingly, he kissed his bride. Thus, has God done for sinners, by sending Christ. It is written, “Husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church.”

I wonder what is in your heart toward the dirty fallen sinners of this world? Are you repulsed by that which God would kiss in Christ? Are you repelled by sinners in prison who are “getting what they deserve?” Or, do you see them as God does, birds shivering on the window sill of life who need led into Christ’s barn? No one was more despised by Jesus than the religiously good people” that themselves despised sinners.

In the parable called the good Samaritan, the Word says the man fell among thieves that stripped and wounded him and left him for dead. Satan is a thief you know. It was a priest and a Levite that passed the man buy while he lay dying in a ditch.

How many homeless shelters and prisons have we driven by without ever giving it a thought? Or perhaps, saying in our hearts, “I am glad I am not like them, I go to church every Sunday and I pay my tithes, yes, ten percent of all!” Brothers and sisters, the harvest is ripe!