On the road again


It’s simple, really. Caring for people from creation to restoration is seeing the value and importance of every human being on this planet regardless. There is no one insignificant. No one who doesn’t count. No one who is an outcast as far as God is concerned. No one without worth or dignity. No leaving anyone out.

There is also no deciding ahead of time who is for us or who is against us. Jesus told His disciples that those who are not against us are for us. That’s a pretty big assumption that doesn’t necessarily mean how everyone will end up, but how we are to treat them along the process. If they’re not against us, treat them as if they are with us and chances are, they might turn out to be. And even those who are against us doesn’t mean they will stay that way. Jesus seemed to attract all types of people — many of them needy — He still does today. Jesus would not be the pastor of a homogeneous suburban congregation today; He would be the pastor of misfits.

This is where we need to stretch. We prefer to be around people like us. It’s easy and it’s comfortable, but something tells me heaven is not going to be like that. Heaven is, in fact, going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Those may be people who may not want to be there. C.S. Lewis is the first writer I ever came across who painted a picture of people who actually didn’t want to be in heaven (The Great Divorce). Paint a picture of Pharisees and you have a group of people who would not like heaven; it would include too many people they don’t think should be there. The so-called “deserving” are never happy with grace; the “undeserving” don’t care who grace summons, they just can’t believe it included them.

Where people are at on their own walk of faith is not our business. We’re not grading anyone — we’re not giving them a quiz at the end of the session. We are on the road, but we are not in charge of our final destination. We are sharing our story with whomever wants to walk with us, but we’re not responsible for their conclusions. That’s God’s business. We are responsible to love them, and be the good Samaritan to them along the way. 

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7 Responses to On the road again

  1. Jan says:

    Giving thought to your statement…’heaven is going to make some people uncomfortable. ‘
    I understand grace, who is there by His grace alone.
    But scripture talks about ‘and Now we see dimly; later in full’ (Isaiah 55)

    There is no longer a time for bad thoughts. Or feelings of dis-comfort.
    It’s a place to be in full praise to the Holy One. THAT will fill our days in eternity. (Rev 4:11)

    • jwfisch says:

      Yes for sure. All in heaven will be thrilled to be there. I was taking a page out of a C.S. Lewis book where he paints a picture of a busload of people from hell who get to visit the outskirts of heaven and actually don’t like it. so much so, they willingly get back on the bus and go back to where the belong. Bottom line: grace makes Pharisees upset.

  2. John A Fagliano says:

    Your mentioning of Pharisees in heaven reminded me of this poem. I know I posted it here before but I think I’ll dust it off again.

    Heaven’s Surprise
    By Rod Hemphill

    I was shocked, confused, bewildered as I entered Heaven’s door,
    Not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights or its decor.
    But it was the folks in Heaven who made me sputter and gasp–
    The thieves, the liars, the sinners, the alcoholics and the trash.
    There stood the kid from seventh grade who swiped my lunch money twice.
    Next to him was my old neighbor who never said anything nice.
    Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in hell,
    Was sitting pretty on cloud nine, looking incredibly well.
    I nudged Jesus, ‘What’s the deal? I would love to hear your take.
    How’d all these sinners get up here? God must’ve made a mistake.
    ‘And why’s everyone so quiet, so somber – give me a clue.’
    Child,’ He said, ‘they’re all in shock. They never thought they’d be seeing you.’

  3. Lon Lorton says:

    Another good writing today. Thanks, John.
    I love Heaven’s Surprise too! It is all by grace.
    Thanks for reminding us.
    Wish the value God has placed on the unborn
    would be recognized, along with every other
    person He’s created.

  4. jwfisch says:

    Keep reminding us.

  5. peter leenheer says:

    The surprise is that we do not accept or practice unconditional love. Dogs do! Spell the word dog backwards and what do you get. We are too judgmental!
    Go and play a game of golf. Pay attention only to your own game. Notice how you handle your mistakes. Then remember how much grace God gives us.

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