I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Matthew 25:36 NIV
When I was in my mid-teens, there was a particular experience that made a permanent impression on my heart. On occasion, something will remind me of what happened many years ago.
My Dad bought an insurance policy from a salesman I’ll call George. As it turned out, George was a successful salesman who had written many insurance policies. However, the policies were worthless. The premium payments were put into the pockets of George instead of the pockets of the insurance company. George was caught, arrested, tried, and convicted of insurance fraud. I never knew how much money Dad lost, but in the scheme of things, it really wasn’t very important.
My Dad was involved in a local prison ministry, taking his turn leading services for the men who attended. I don’t know how it happened, but I imagine that one day when Dad stood to speak, he noticed a specific inmate sitting among the others. It was George. And no, I don’t believe it was just a coincidence.
Some inmates were allowed passes, so Dad brought George to our home for Sunday dinners. I don’t know how often George ate with us. After a couple of visits, I didn’t think of him as a prisoner. He was a man who had wronged others. He was a man who enjoyed Sunday dinner with us. He was a man separated from his family. (Although his wife and daughter were local, no contact was permitted while George was with Dad.)
This is my favorite part of the story. George finished serving his sentence and was released from prison. While he was cleaning out his house preparing to move, he came across some papers. These weren’t just any papers. These were records of some of the people he had defrauded.
And whose name do you think he saw? Yes, it was Dad’s. Right about then, I would think he had a sinking feeling in his gut. More than likely, he was embarrassed, mortified, and ashamed. George probably had an extremely hard time facing Dad again. He must have had many questions, such as “why didn’t you tell me who you were?”, and “why did you let me have meals with your family?”, and “after what I did to you, how could you treat me with such kindness?, and “why?”, and “why?”.
Dad lived his faith in front of others.
What about me? Is there anything that my son remembers about me? Is there some word or some action or some feeling or some example or some attitude or some something?
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 NAS
This is a favorite verse of mine. As a Christian, it’s a comfort to know that God’s love is within me for eternity. I am secure in the knowledge of His wondrous, mighty, and unconditional love. I do not, and can not, envision my life separated from God. I pray that others would accept and believe in Jesus Christ, and experience the eternal love of God.
Word of God speak
Would You pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That You're in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In Your holiness
Word of God speak
Chorus - Word of God Speak
These words encircled my mind yesterday. Literally, around and around and around, again. I hummed this song in Target in the household department. I realized I was singing (softly, singing) it in the garden section at Lowe’s. While unloading the flower and veggie plants from the car, I hummed it a tad on the loud side. Resting on the garden bench, yep, I was singing it again (and not so softly).
So, I figure if the song was stuck in my thoughts, there may be a reason why.
How often do I really, and without distraction, let God’s Word speak to my heart? How often do I let it pour over my soul, so that I may see God? How often do I pause and worship the majesty of God? How often am I conscious of God’s presence every day in every place in every way? How often do I sit and rest at the feet of His holiness? How often?
When I’m still, and know that He is God!
"Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!"
The light of heaven is the face of Jesus Christ;
The joy of heaven is the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ;
The melody of heaven is the name of Jesus Christ.
The theme of heaven is the work of Jesus Christ.
The fullness of heaven is the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself.