What Bible is your Neighbor Reading?
Bill is the name of this wild-hair boy. Most of his T-shirts and jeans have holes and he seldom wears shoes. This brilliant and rather eccentric college student is laid back in his approach to life. Some would say he is lazy and sloppy while others would say he is focused and undistracted by the trivial things of life.
Recently, Bill became a Christian. The Christian fellowship he is attending is very informal and the atmosphere of these meetings is similar to that of the "Coffee Houses" of the 60s. The format of these meetings fits right in with his informal approach to life.
Across the street from his campus is a very formal conservative church. The people there are very influential and are well dressed. Although they desire to develop a ministry to help reach the college students, their formality has been a hindrance. One day Bill decided to visit the church, so he walks in with his normal attire. Since the service had already started, many eyes turn toward him as he walks in.
The church is completely packed and since he can't find a seat in the back, he walks further down the aisle. By now people are starting to feel uncomfortable with this unconventional wild-haired person. As Bill gets closer to the pulpit, he realizes there are no seats, so he sits down on the carpet. Although this is a common practice at the college fellowship he has been attending, he doesn’t realize this is not done at this church. By now the auditorium is totally silent and people are wondering what’s going to happen next.
The door in the back of the auditorium opens and everyone’s attention is drawn to the Deacon as he makes his way toward Bill. The distinguished Deacon, in his three-piece suit, walks slowly toward the boy. Everyone understands what this elderly man is going to do. It’s an unpleasant task, but it has to be done. There has to be dignity and order in a church service. Of course, everyone is wondering how this distinguished 80-year-old man is going to be able to communicate with this kid without hurting his feelings.
It takes a long time for the old man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. The air is filled with tension and anticipation. The minister can't preach the sermon until the Deacon does what he has to do. The Deacon drops his cane on the floor and with great difficulty he lowers himself down and sits next to Bill. To everyone’s surprise, the Deacon starts worshiping God with Bill so he won't be alone. Everyone is choked emotionally. After the minister gets his emotions under control he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget."
Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read. What are people reading in your life? Are they reading that you faithfully attend church and always wear the proper attire? Or, do they read that these things are secondary in comparison to your love and compassion for others? As someone once said, "People don’t really care how much you know, until they know how much you really care."
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