Saturday, February 25, 2017

“There are none so blind as those who will not see.” — John Heywood, 1546

           There was a time right before we moved to Africa that I traveled around Arkansas on my motorcycle doing revivals and putting whatever money was donated into The One Book Foundation for my international mission trips.  A good friend and attorney, Gordon Allison, helped me set up the foundation as a way to receive contributions that could be tax deductions.  Called it The One Book foundation because John Wesley said that he was “a man of one book.”  Another friend developed the logo for the One Book Foundation that you can see on the gas tank of my motorcycle in the picture at the right.  That’s me inside the helmet.  I also had the logo on the back of the motorcycle as well.  One day, on the way to a revival, wearing my clerical collar and riding my bike, I pulled into a service station to get some gas.   There was a beat-up, dirty old car at another pump, and a very thin, tattooed woman with scraggly hair walked very purposefully toward me.  I thought, “Oh Lord, here comes another beggar wanting money from me” and began thinking about how I could turn her away.  When she got next to me, she slapped me up side the head—not literally, but I was humbled and ashamed just the same by what she said.  She told me she could see by the Bible on my bike and my collar that I was a man of God.  She said she had a sick baby in the car that she was taking to a hospital in Little Rock.  She was afraid the baby might not make it to the hospital, and she wanted me to bless and pray for her child.  I held that sick little baby next to my bike leathers and prayed for it and blessed it and anointed it (I always carried anointing oil).  The woman cried and cradled her child as she lovingly put it back into her car and drove away.  I was wiping tears from my eyes as I got back on my bike to continue my ride. 
               I don’t know what happened to that child, but I know what happened to me that day.  I learned a very hard lesson about judging people by what I saw.  A blind man shouldn’t be riding a motorcycle but that was what had been happening up to then.  I was needing that “Amazing Grace” that would prove “I was blind, but now I see.”  Since then, I have always allowed God to guide me and reveal the beauty inside of every person I meet, no matter what they look like, how they’re dressed, how they speak, or if they have piercings or tattoos.  God makes His children in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and their needs are all the same inside—needs that God sent me to care for.  We are all like I was, aren’t we?  We are quick to judge by looks alone, but if we lump everyone who looks the same into one category—how many does it take to make that belief untrue?  Just one.  Just one.  We will not be judged by our friends, the people with whom we attend church, or our families.  We will be judged by the one who said, “I was hungry and you fed me.”   We must be slow to judge and quick to love and forgive.  Who knows who has a very sick child out of sight in a dirty and dented old car?  Who knows what secret pain each person carries?  Not me and not you.  God does, though, and He wants us to imitate the Son He sent to die for us.  We are to love as Christ loved us and that doesn’t include judging by association or dress or speech or political affiliation.  I’ve got something for you that will prove my point if you can follow the directions I’ve got for you.  There is a link below to a music video, but I want you to play the one that just shows the lyrics first (it's the first one below).   Then after listening (paying attention to the words) all the way through, watch the video in the second link.  It will blow you away and make everything I’ve been saying ring true.  And you will be entertained and introduced to a new singer you may like.  Okay, I’ve done my job.  See if you can do yours.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpimiNvcRC4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wKzyIN1yk
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