Summary: We must "walk in the light" each and every day with all the people we meet in all the situations we find ourselves in. If we do not, we make God a liar because we claim to be His (light) and yet walk in darkness.
A WALK DOWN THE STREET WITH JESUS
Let’s walk down the street together. You, me, and Jesus.
As we leave the front doors of the church, we find ourselves on a semi-busy street. Manhattan Avenue is a semi-busy street in my book. The sun is shining. There is a small breeze blowing which is nice. We take a left and walk along the property of NBCC. Cars and trucks whiz by. A few people honk because they recognize us or more truthfully they probably recognize Who is with us. Maybe. Maybe not. I am not sure how many people these days recognize Jesus if He walked on water in front of them. I guess in the end I am not sure why they are honking. Maybe my good looks.
Anyway, we aren’t even off of the entry sidewalk when someone pulls into the church parking lot in their car. At that moment, I get a text. Immediately I pull out my phone and check my message. Not really an important one. You know what is important… facebook and twitter. I am standing there and the person walks by me headed for the door of the church. Facebook is great. Twitter is great. I suddenly realize we aren’t walking! Let’s go for a walk.
Jesus just kind of looked at me and stared and looked back at the door of the church with the person standing there.
We haven’t even gone very far on our walk when the next thing that we come to is the church gazebo on our left. The gazebo is where the greeters sit and give out bulletins and communion for the drive-in service we have each week. Now you need to know that recently our gazebo is getting a bit tattered. You see, at night apparently there are homeless people sleeping in it on a regular basis. They are eating and drinking and making an absolute mess which is causing bugs and other critters to gather. A few of the bench parts are broken now. Not only that, there is graffiti appearing in the gazebo. I assume they are messages from homeless people to homeless people that it is a safe place to sleep. Sometimes they even leave their sleeping bags and backpacks in it. They tore down our no trespassing sign. To be honest, people are being a nuisance all of a sudden and are messing up our stuff.
As I am walking along and come up to the gazebo, I notice an older man sitting in the gazebo. He is just sitting there. He is not eating or drinking or sleeping, but just sitting there. “Well Jesus,” I say out loud, “there he is. He must be one of the ones who are messing up our stuff. You know what I think I will do… I think I will tell him to move. After all, he is obviously the one who is causing a mess and causing issues.”
I walk over to the man. In a firm and authoritative voice, I tell him that he has to move. After all, I am the minister of the church and we can’t have people sleeping in the gazebo and messing it up. We won’t have it to use if the homeless people break the benches, fill it with graffiti, and cause it to be overrun with pests. We have to be good stewards of what God has given us. I am nice. I am firm. I even comment that the Church of Christ next door only has a service once a week and never has anyone there and he is more than welcome to hang out around their building. He was very polite as he corrected my assumption that he was homeless. He mentioned that he lives across the street and was on his way back from Winn Dixie. His ol’ legs weren’t what they used to be and he needed to rest. He bent over and picked up his grocery bags which I had not seen and got up and left. He kind of limped as he went along lugging his groceries. He had three or four bags in each hand and it was amazing that the old guy could carry so much. I watched him for a few steps. I looked at Jesus and nodded with approval of my own actions.
Jesus just kind of looked at me and stared.
I looked at Jesus and said, “I suppose You are thinking that I should have let the old man sit in the gazebo? I don’t know. Or maybe I should be helping him on his way home across the street by carrying his bags. Maybe, but I am on a walk with my friends and with You. I shouldn’t get distracted by what people need. I need to focus on You.”