Last year Brandon sent me this link and the comment, “He almost gets it”. I know what he meant because Penn Jillette (of Penn & Teller) is a comedian/illusionist who doesn’t believe there is a God. But I wonder if there’s something he does get that we don’t. Or maybe forget.
How much do you have to hate someone…? Loving lost people is not automatic.
For nearly a year I’ve been sensing this message from God: “You’ve become so risk-adverse that you’re not leaving me with much of a window in which to work.” He used Andree Seu’s 11-7-09 World editorial Taking Risks for the Gospel to make an incision in my soul. I pulled it from the magazine and have been dragging it back and forth between home and church office, afraid not to be near a message I need to hear repeatedly.
I was never what anyone would call an evangelist, but I used to hope for, think more and pray about talking to people about Jesus. I cared about their need for the gospel. What happened? For one, it feels like life has taken on a fairly structured rhythm and I wonder if there’s any room for some new music; am I still available to the Spirit for the unexpected? Am I reluctant to take evangelistic risks? Oh sure, I talk with people about Jesus every Sunday, but they’re mostly sympathetic. It’s around the guys who seem ready to flip me off that I clam up. And yet, Jesus came for the sick–not the healthy. I’m OK with the healthy, but getting flipped off would just ruin my day.
Knowing I have too tamed my life is why I’ve started going to the local bar. This too is my community. My field. In this timeless establishment by the tracks are people Christ loves…, and has asked me to love. Men, if you’ve got a Saturday lunch or evening free, give me a call. Before we go we’ll pray, then we’ll order a good meal–maybe some wings, talk to people, shoot some pool, and talk with people–maybe even offer to pray with someone. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mysterry of the gospel… Ephesians 6:19
By the way, the rumor that Penn has become a Christian is false. But we can still pray.