Many times I have come in under the radar to see someone’s heart turned to the Lord. No tracts, mini Bibles or newsletters. Just love. I have watched God change a person’s life so many times I cannot count. I have had folks come to my home and spoken to them. From cults and covens and watched them begin to weep as I have shared God’s love. Admittedly I was not always like that with God. I was a “beat them over the head with it” guy.
So reading the headline about the inundation of Bibles to the Houston mayor’s office frustrated me. It is not that I do not think she could use Jesus or that she has a hole in her heart that God wants to fill with His love. Not that at all. It is the idea of thousands of Bibles showing up, unannounced, just does not see all that productive. (I was better with the reviewers receiving thousands of sermons. By the way I am not saying I think the law is right. And handwritten? So much the better. For me, because I only put down two or three scriptures, it would have been easy. Mine could have gone in on a pink Post-It.) Nor does it seem loving. And that is my concern. Love is patient. Love is kind. It is not rude. Rude being defined as discourteous or impolite, especially in a deliberate way.
In my pre-salvation days I engaged in witchcraft including stores. Many well meaning believers tried to get my attention by loving me with admonitions to “suffer not a witch to live” and “God is going to kill you”. Tracts and mini Bibles were left in my stores. People stuck them on my shelves of New Age books. In all those years there were only 4 people who reached out to me. A minister, his son and a young couple. (It was with the young couple of I received salvation many years later. You can read that here.)
And while a tract will work from time to time, most will go in the trash even if they are written in the language of the owners of your favorite restaurant. (Tips go way further and ABUNDANT ones change hearts.) And Bibles? I remember attending a school function to pick up one of my children. A group was giving away Bibles. Young men and women were taking them and walking down the sidewalk burning them, tearing them up and spitting on them. I commend the effort. I question the reality. Just a few weeks ago there was a tent at a function I went to. It had a table of Bibles and no people. I am sorry, I missed something. Again, great effort, but where is the love?
I remember the Righteous Brothers singing, “You’ve lost that loving feeling, oh that loving feeling. You’ve lost that loving feeling, now it’s gone, gone, gone.”
I understand my frustration with the Houston mayor, her personal stand and her take on life. (I have friends and clients in Houston.) My question is was this the best use of God’s money? Of His love? Of your time?
It is easy to do things that do not require involvement (Spelled l-o-v-e.)or time or investment. Harder to move as Jesus would. He said to “go (Not send Bibles) and make disciples of… I get it is easier to pack a Bible, send money somewhere or similar things, but my question is and always will be “is it love?”
Ask yourself “who is going to reach the lost”. The fire breathing, condemnatory preacher or the loving, God inspired neighbor serving cookies. They are both saved.
I get it. I could take the paint off walls with my words and my preaching. One day a father in my life said, “bring heaven to the people. Roar with thunder. Preach like a prophet from the North. And then…come down and walk amongst the people.” (Community-learn to live it!)
So, I pray for Houston, its mayor and its people. I do not think the law is right, but I do think we are talking about people. Injustice was turned over 2,000 years ago and justice meted out. It opens the door to a new life. It is from that new life, we the people, need to love from.