Borderline Christians -- He Said
by Eddie Jones
by Eddie Jones
Borderline Christians-- He Said
“Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” - Luke 17:11
We may never know what impact our touch may have on another. As Christians we walk in the valley of colliding cultures. To our right is the kingdom of heaven with its promise of eternal life, God’s love and, ultimately, freedom from pain and disease. To the left is kingdom of the world with its promiscuity, deceit and perversion of God’s grace. And up ahead in a coffee shop or break room or at a bar there are people desperate for our touch and God’s word of hope. These are the border-line leapers sick with sin.
A few years back I received a letter from such a man.
“Here I sit alone in jail, in a state where I know three people (two of which would prefer that I didn’t exist.) After years of going my own way I’ve managed to alienate my friends, relatives and wife. Two years ago I asked God to get out of my life. I told him to handle his own affairs and I’d handle mine. Wow, talk about getting what you pray for. I finally managed to get myself in a fix where I can’t lie, cheat or steal my way out of. If you’d pray for me, that would be great. And a visit would be even better.”
The more I study the ministry of Christ the more I’m struck by how he went his own way and out of his way to touch the untouchables. He refused to follow the road rules. Instead, he veered off into the back alleys and slums of society to call the aliens, outcasts and despised to His feast.
As followers of Christ we too are called to be “border-line” Christians walking in the land of the leapers. Sunday morning worship is fine. A weekday Bible study vital to our spiritual growth. But to make an impact, to lead a man or woman to the love of Christ sometimes requires that we take their hand and become soiled with their filth and smell.
Here is another letter from my “border-line” friend a few months later. “I can’t begin to thank you enough for stopping by to visit. It’s the best thing that’s happened to me this year.”
He is now out of prison, married and raising a child in a Christian home.
Walk along the edges. Touch the untouchables. Dare to get dirty. Christ did.
Who needs your touch today?
No Way Out -- She Said
By Cindy Sproles
By Cindy Sproles
No Way Out — She Said
"Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" Luke 17:11
The door opened and a long darkened corridor lay in front of me. In the rooms on either side of me men screamed without making a sound. The epitome of silent terror -- the cry that cannot be heard, the feet that cannot outrun the fear.
I pushed open the door to the last room and shivered. A ray of sun seeped through the prison bars providing just enough light for me to see what I'd hoped I wouldn't see.
Feet swinging in the shadows.
His laces dangled untied, a pant leg resting atop the cuff of his boot. As the body turned I saw his hands. The veins bulged. His palms were dark and bloated, fingernails black.
Now I screamed, but no one heard.
* * *The alarm startled me and I sat up in the bed, a cold sweat coating my skin. My heart raced and my breath quickened. I buried my face in my hands and began to cry, grateful it was only a dream.
There is nothing worse than seeing those you love lost to addiction, peversion and sin. Was it sin that caused the skin of the lepers to rot? I don't know. Was it pain that caused the young man in my dream to subcumb to drugs and crime? I don't know.
All I know for certain is that the progression of sin is a slow slide that leads to the borders of society -- a "slow motion sinking" into the never-ending nightmare. There seems to be no way out.
But I know, too, that while I cannot corral and save what I cannot find, I can pray. So I do. I pray for the young man in my dream who's face I know, who's hands I've held, who's voice I've heard. I pray that my Lord will find him, hold him close and bring him back from the edge. Please, Jesus, search the borders and bring this boy home.
His parents wait.
Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles write the popular He Said, She Said Devotions and co-founded ChristianDevotions.us.
They host the BlogtalkRadio show, Christian Devotions Speak Up!
The mission of Christian Devotions is two-fold. First, to provide personal and relatable devotions on the Internet daily for those who may not otherwise be exposed to the Word of God. Second, to promote Christian writers of all types and Christian books. A devotion may be someone's only Bible for the day so read, write and if you find a particular devotion touches your heart pass it on.