What a wonderful invitation that is. A call to celebrate the great things of faith and country. A call to break free. To speak out. To declare the great and good things we know, and believe.
But the time we are living through seems not to be amenable to the free speech of the human heart. Of deep beliefs being expressed. Of truths we know being told. It feels like “political correctness” writ large. A hand of preferred philosophies clapped over our mouths, demanding silence about old-fashioned, not sophisticated, truths that belong in decades past, but not now.
It’s going on in attempts at speech in the public square. It’s going on, on college campuses. In political parties. In churches. In neighborhoods. Even families.
I was invited to have lunch recently, with an old and dear friend. A Christian friend, who’s had struggle and loss in his own life. He had brought along a high school-aged grandson, who’d had a huge loss in his life.
My friend wanted his grandson to meet me, and vice versa. As the meal progressed, my friend began to tell his grandson about his own relationship with me. About our friendship. About Africa in my life, and the work of reconciliation. Dutifully, the quiet lad listened. He loved his grandpa. He respected his grandpa and his grandpa’s work. The grandpa talked about Jesus, and how he had come to know Him. About how important He was to this grandfather’s life.
Genuinely, and deeply, he told his grandson the reasons for finding faith. For walking with Jesus. I thought, what a brave grandfather. And, what a willing and open grandson. It was a powerful witness of telling truth with great love.
There was no restraining hand of political correctness holding him back. He spoke the truth in great and earnest love. It was instructive, and humbling for me.
What my friend had done was make it clear he was a Jesus man. And that he wanted his grandson to know. And to receive it as an invitation.
It was mystical, and holy. So often, within families, we don’t want to share our heart like that. We want to be cool, and if anything, indirect.
But this was straight arrow, and to the heart. It was too brave and true to be brushed off. The friend exercised his grandfatherly privilege with great earnestness, and skill. He held nothing back. He drew his grandson – and me – into the fellowship of believers. He was a brave disciple, declaring the Gospel – Good News – to his grandson.
In days of pandemic, and the sophistry of sophistication, this grandfather was showing the way of loving evangelism. He was letting his own heart show, and offering the best he knew, to his grandson.
What he did there, he could do anywhere. So could we. Just take the ball, and run through the line – for a touchdown.
What Jesus expects of us and has taught us: To speak His truth, and shine His light, in the world. Without fear. Allowing no fearful constraints of the self-appointed speech police to stop us.
Just singing our song. Hallelujah!
Your friend in the battle,
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES