Thursday, January 31, 2008


I can remember when I was young and used to spend time down at a particular neighbors house. They had at least two sons that I can remember, but only really remember one of them well. His name was Jimmy.

He was older than me, and used to take advantage of that. To be honest, I do not remember doing anything them with them that was good, in the time I spent there.
I have two fairly vivid memories, perhaps three.
One of those was playing a game of hide and seek, and while hiding in his garage, being exposed to a popular men's magazine that degrades women, and continues to be a top seller today. I was very young and shocked at what I saw. Apparently, it was his father's stash, tucked away in a box, under a bench...where I was seeking not to be found.
I carried the images for too long. A young child seeing such things, I really did not know what to do with them.
On other occasions, I remember how this same boy would encourage me to say words that were not part of my vocabulary, and completely unacceptable in my home.

One day, he was teaching me a strongly negative word to call African Americans. Though I did not know the word, I could tell by the way he was laughing and encouraging, that I should not say it. Still, when our mailman came around, he hid and told me to go up to him and call him this name. I did as I was told.

Our mailman was a kind and gentle soul. His ethnicity was different than mine, but that never mattered before or after this event.

When I returned home later, I was greeted with a soapy wash cloth. Understandably, my mother sought to wash the word from my mouth and vocabulary.

I don't think I ever used it again!

Humiliated, I apologized to him. He was so understanding and gracious. He even recommended I be careful who I hang out with as it could have a bad influence on me.
Somehow, these things beat you home, and like the Holy Spirit, it seems a mother always knows!

My final memory of this young man and was his proclivity for spitting. He was older than me, and watching him practice this frequently, caused me to think that it must be cool.
I started to do the same thing. That didn't last very long. My parents were not fond of that habit or my use of it.

One of the reasons I remember this in particular is because of at least one time (I believe there were others) when I was the recipient of this young man's saliva. It was about as disgusting a thing as I can remember.
It seemed he had not brushed his teeth in days.
When wiping it away from my face, it seemed to have the consistency of glue and bore a striking resemblance to diluted coffee. I could not get it off. I felt so dirty.
While studying recently, I was reminded of this. I know I need to pray for Jimmy. Beyond that, I was reminded of Jesus.

Having someone spit in your face is about as humiliating as things can get. It reflects an absolute lack of respect. Responding to such an occurrence leaves me bewildered. You are frozen in those moments, while others laugh and scoff. You want the stench and filth off of you, but aren't sure how to remove it without further entangling yourself in it.
People spat in the face of our Christ as he carried the crossbeam of wood to his ultimate humiliation. People laughed at him, and called out for Him to save Himself. His body was broken and bruised from a beating that would have killed other men. Vile saliva from putrid mouths of onlookers intermingled with blood and ran deep into seeping gouges on His head and back.

We cannot imagine doing so. Yet unlike that little boy under a work bench finding a box of publications for the first time, many of us casually and repeatedly embrace sin, and seek not to be found! We pretend He doesn't see.
The Israelites were being delivered from the bondage of slavery, yet they complained and moaned about their circumstances the entire way.

We have been delivered from the bondage of sin, yet we reflect lives that would rather continue to wallow in it, thereby, spitting in the face of our Savior!

When we read in Scripture what others have done to Him, we are repulsed and abhor the mental pictures. In the next heartbeat, we join the spewing mob as they cast their sputum toward the Perfect Lamb!
We are a people covered by His grace who need to repent of our ways, seek Him and pray for a revival...a "revolution" to sweep our land.

As long as we continue to seek to force the King of Kings into a stodgy little box where we can keep an eye on His ways and believe we understand completely who He is, we will squelch the Spirit of the Lord from having impact in our churches.
Just like my mom always seems to know when I have erred or when I am in need, the Holy Spirit of God knows where we are and what conviction, comfort, compassion or forgiveness needs to be brought to us.
Praise Jesus, that He is faithful!
Though we fail Him, He yet restores us if we but seek His face.


At 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent - Your words today are humbling...let me NOT be a part of that. Lord forgive us when we do wrong and then accept his forgiveness. Thank you for your perseverance in this blog-site. You have been a blessing in my life by pointing me toward my Savior and I know others feel the same way. God Bless You

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for yet another reminder. I needed that today.
May God richly bless you and your precious family.

At 6:41 PM, Blogger Hopeful Pediatric Oncology Nurse said...

Me hopes I can listen... KPDQ... Oh, I hate my memory. When I don't listen to Odyssey, I forget the station. I'm going to listen though. YEAH FOR PORTLAND, OREGON!!!!! My Hometown.... Hehe, I don't want to know how it got to be known here...

Inspiring message. Thank you. Especially when I'm depressed right now. God Bless you and your family,
In Christ,

At 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing & beautiful God we serve. Your Blessed Son was so beyond his years - that Jesus could see into His Heart. What a beautiful witness to our Precious Lord & Savior. For the past 4 yrs, my husband & I have been attending 2 hr prayer meeting on Saturday mornings. We talk alot about always denying self, getting away from judgment, but truly seeing the treasure in everyone's life & heart even those that are not saved as they are a child of the Most High God and are worthy!!
Bless & Praise His Holy Name In the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Ghost. AMEN
Norma from Cornelius, OR


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