...my son asked a favor of me this evening. He'd been working on a paper for school, and requested my help in editing his rough draft.
When I sat in front of the computer, I was unaware of the subject he'd chosen. Had no idea what I was in for, him being fourteen and all.
From the speakers whispered Ryan Bingham's, "The Weary Kind." Outside my office window, an arctic gust threw handfuls of snow at the glass, a festering blizzard flexing its muscle.
And this is what I read...
I watched in curiosity, frightful as the man marched into the gates of our small town. The man was dressed in khaki shorts, sandals, and a plain white t-shirt. But this is not what sent goose bumps creeping up my spine. There, cradled in his arms, was a book. Not just any book, the Holy Bible. Around his neck he wore a silver cross. I wanted badly to tell him to leave. To go back to the land from which he came, where he was in no danger. Instead, I watched as the silver streak flew through the air and pierced the back of the man's skull, sending his body sprawling to the pavement. Within minutes the guard who took the man's life rolled his body off to the side of the road to make way for the oncoming traffic.
Now you have to ask yourself, what if? What if you were that poor guy watching helplessly as a Christian man was slaughtered for his beliefs? But then again, you probably wouldn't spend more than one minute of your precious time thinking this over. As Americans, we take for granted our freedom of religion.
You should feel honored to live in the United States of America. In 51 countries, 40 are restricted nations, 11 are hostile. It wouldn't be uncommon to see this same scene a dozen or more times in one day. Every one of us was blessed by God to be born in this nation.
The man who was murdered for walking around with a Bible in his hands, a cross from his neck...what was he planning on doing? Maybe he had a family. Maybe he was on a missionary trip and didn't know he would be killed for being a Christian. Or maybe, just maybe, he was there to spread the word of God, even though he knew that it may be the last thing he ever did.
Why would anyone do such a thing? In Romans 1:16 it says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." It then goes on to say, "For in the gospel righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. The righteous will live by faith."
How many of you Christians out there live by faith? How many of you are willing to yell at the top of your lungs...I believe in God, and are willing to spread his word?
You know what is right. Will you be ashamed, or righteous, and live by faith? Thank you for your time...
...I looked up from the computer to a world covered in ice. Listened a bit longer to Bingham's velvet tone, and thought, "I'm far from perfect. The mistakes I've made are countless. But through the sweat and the tears, the debt and the grime of a world forged in cruelty, I've managed to get one thing right. ...he's fourteen, and ageless.
Thanks for reading:)