Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Sickness unto Faith (Part 1)

and your lack of action!
As well as your lack of action!

Faith is Action….Are you acting in Faith?

I was out of town on business awhile back and I stopped at a McDonald's for lunch. It was a chilly rainy day- the kind of day that makes a person want to stay in bed for the duration. While looking around and trying to choke down my lukewarm, sub-par "Filet of Fish” sandwich, I saw a man walk through the door.  By the looks of him he obviously had spent a great deal of time outside in the elements. He also had the countenance of a man who is being put through the winepress. The man sat down at a booth adjacent to my table and just put his head in his hands. I could almost feel the pain this man was dealing with. I prayed at that moment that I or someone else could help relieve his suffering. Almost instantly a man sat down at the booth across from me and directly behind the suffering man. In the time it takes for a carnivore to take two bites of an artery clogging Big Mac, the suffering man took his head out of his hands; tears flowed down his cheeks and you could tell that he was visibly embarrassed. The man seated behind the distraught man took notice and said: “How are you doing Jerry?” They obviously knew each other. Jerry said: “I’m OK, but I've been better”.  The man in the booth said: “I have not seen you in church lately.” Jerry responded by saying- “I recently lost my wife to cancer, and I've been going through a rough patch.” Booth-man says: “I’m so sorry for your loss!” Jerry then tells him that in the past 9 months he has also lost his job, his home and is currently sleeping in public parks. Booth-man, being very uncomfortable with all Jerry's negative talk, changes the subject to local sports and weather. After about 5 minutes of this idle banter, Booth-man somehow summons the godly-courage to address Jerry's original problems. He said:“Jerry I will pray for you…and really, I hope things get better for ya. Good luck buddy!” Booth-man then gets up, dumps his half eaten Big Mac in the garbage, puts on his raincoat, and exits the establishment- leaving Jerry in exactly the same state he was before. At this point, I was absolutely mortified! What a missed opportunity! This is the problem with so-called Christians: they have this misplaced conception that “prayer” is some sort of spiritual currency; they believe that prayer replaces action.

They are wrong!

Being I was almost 400 miles from home, I gave Jerry some cash and a note with my address and phone number. I told him that if he ever needed anything, or need a place to stay, that he should give me a call. He said "God bless you" and retreated back out into the rain.

The Christian faith is becoming tainted, torn and tattered; a spiritual meat shield to protect us from the harsh realities of the real world. Faith is becoming a T-shirt; a hat; a Church name. Prayers are becoming platitudes: as empty and well received as a popcorn fart in a crowded theater. I pray that there are those out there who are longing for more; to do more...for that is what Jesus Christ commanded.

What is Faith to you?
Are you acting on it??