A man, feeling alone and unloved. Looks for comfort in a bottle, maybe smokes a little weed, pops a pill. What can it hurt?
His life improves. He now understands why people have rejected, ignored and avoided him.
His eyes are opened, his ears hear. Yes, he is sure, this is the truth, finally revealed.
He just needed a little help to give him the confidence, the strength, the ability to shine, to become himself.
He is smarter, faster, better than others, the secrets of the universe are an open book.
He is a God, the master of his world.
He becomes friendly, loved, popular. He is sure, life is better.
It is all a dream. He is in chains, shackles, as he screams and roars, relief is not to be found.
He is lost, he is alone, hopeless.
An older woman, her hands deformed, gnarly, painful to look at, impossible to use.
A Humpback. Her legs and feet, twisted, swollen, almost useless. To walk, and engage with others is to be tortured, humiliated.
She is ashamed of what she looks like, what she has become. What she has done.
Her money gone. Given willingly, to physicians, pharmacists, therapists. Nothing they prescribed has worked.
The rest went to charlatans, quacks and frauds. Always seeking an answer, relief, even rescue.
All the promises of health and peace, comfort and love, of a pain free life. Gone, unrealized, forgotten.
She is lost, alone, hopeless.
Then we have a father, his only daughter, sick, with an incurable decease. Slowly wasting away, her body, confined to her bed, nothing but skin and bones.
Weak, unable to attend to her own needs, fed, clothed, cleaned, by those who love her and who grieve and groan, desiring her return to health.
There is no where to turn, a death sentence has been pronounced, the trial finished, the hammer has sounded. It is over.
He is lost, he is alone, he is without hope.
There is no where for these people to turn.
Their wealth has been spent, their hopes dashed, the future is set in stone. They are not alone.
There are many on this journey, a multitude, countless millions.
Lost, alone, hopeless.
The road they are on, has a name. It is denial, their eventual destination, what they are seeking, is relief.
They are nearing…
They believe the answer is death, the grave.
There they will suffer no more, be at peace, find relief, be released from the problems, pain and troubles of this world.
I have heard it said: “They are in a better place, their suffering is over, they are at peace.”
Really, and you know this how? Are you sure? Is that your final answer?
No hope, hopeless, why?
Meanwhile the church gathers together weekly. Boasting, we have fed hundreds, clothed many, paid the light bills for others.
We have helped all who have come to our door.
We have sent missionaries abroad, financed them, prayed for them.
We are the few, the faithful, the chosen.
Is that it? Have we done enough? Is our job done? Have the scriptures been fulfilled?
Has the world, our city, our neighborhood, our loved ones, heard the answer?
Have we told them the Kingdom of God is at hand? That peace, joy, comfort, mercy and grace is available, affordable, and theirs for the asking?
I have not been faithful, in proclaiming this truth. Have you?
Father, we love You, forgive us. Empower us for Your Service.
Teach us, Show us, Draw us close to You.
Lord, may Your Love be recognized in us. Desired by those we meet. Would touch those in need.
May we be vessels of Your healing, comfort and salvation, to the lost and dying world. A road map that leads, only to You.
Thank You, Lord, that Your mercy is new every morning. You are an Awesome God. Your Love knows no bounds.
(The truth is found in Mark 5)