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Joined: 2010/5/9
Posts: 164

 An eternal encounter

The dark woods entangled the path. Each step was further from the first. And turning back was no longer an option. Where he had come from and where he was headed were equally distant. Alone, he sought his way through the trees and bogs. Howling, screeching, panting and hissing noises surrounded his every living moment. But the path must be trod.

The place where he was headed was reported to be free from the messy and sticky gobs which encrusted his body now. There, he would bathe and never again taste the fowl food of this present place. How unhealthy was this food. A man could eat his fill and be hungry again in an hour. Were it not for his hope he would have laid down in the mess and craved death.

Through the darkness and narrowness of the path he was constrained to walk. Even the stars seemed to run from his eyes. And the glow of the sun rarely touched his filthy skin. But walk he must. Sleep brought memories of things gone by. And when he woke the whispers of those who walked near could be heard.

One day he heard a noise familiar. A fellow soul treading the same ground. But the woods being so deep and thick, to venture over would be too much. He listened with interest. But caution held his tongue. The voice made the noises of the reality he was experiencing also. But he had met such before. "How will I know if this one means me harm?" Yet compasion held his interest in the voice. Soon the need to fellowship overcame his reluctance. "If I don't speak, I'll never know."

He heard the other say, "I have had trouble beyond my ability to cope", the voice said. "They have torn away from me everything I held dear." Yet I cannot turn back". These are the same thoughts the man has had. So he called to the other. "I am of the same ilk. Do you travel with guidance? Or do you travel under your own power?" The other answered a beautiful sound, "I travel by the strength of the One who calls men that they might be saved from this place."

In the course of time he found out that the other had been tossed away by every possible place of hope in this world. Even those in charge of such a filthy path seem to have avoided him. It seems he spoke of his journey and of the things to come. The sound of those words caused the people to turn away. Was it pitty that provoked the love the man felt in his heart for this "other"? Oddly, no. It was a kinship.

What will we say to the Soverign Lord of Glory when we have shuned others because they have a message from Him which rings of trouble to come? I do not say this to shame anyone. But can that truth be ignored and we not receive condemnation? The world will stand condemed for two things. One that they have not sought the Glory of the One who made them. And two that they have turned away from the ones who did. Should those who call themselves under the banner of Jesus act in this way? I know it is a risk to touch the unlovely. But isn't that by design?

This story isn't about me. It's a provocation to risk. Isn't this the very place where we found Jesus walking? And should our record before the Holy God be that we craved what is acceptable? I do not judge in this regard. I too have turned from what is fearsome to embrace what is "trustworthy". Once I walked into a country town and saw a man coming toward me who looked pittiful. From beard to raged clothes he announced to my eyes, "I am different than you." As I switched sides of the road and passed by him, he spoke words I will not forget. "Don't be afraid of what you don't understand." I felt the knife in my soul that day. And this was long before I knew Jesus.

Who has said as much to you? Are you still within their reach to approach? Do as you will. I will do, with God's Great Grace, what I can. I can't pass by anymore.

By His Grace

Paul Horton

 2010/8/12 10:45Profile

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