I was outside with my daughter driving to school when a Hummer pulled up in the strip mall parking lot. Now, we have a carpooling program where we each have two cars. So, I was in the driving seat, and my girl was in the back seat. So, two hummers pulled up in that parking lot. I looked around confused. Then a young man in his late teens or early twenties stepped out of one of the Hummers. He was short, pretty decent-looking, and nice to look. I looked him way, and he smiled at me. Then, as if he was simply trying to make a statement; “God Bless You.” I was speechless. He then turned to me and said, “My name is Joel. I’m a Reader. You’ve killed me. I’m a Reader.” Silence was his only answer.
Joel continued to attempt to give me his name, and I was still smiling. Then he said, “You know this deadly sin, that you deserve forever? It’s only suspended (“play forgiveness catch-up with God”) until you finally make your move to pay off that sin you’ve been so fingering every night. Truthfully, it’s not hard to do. All it takes is to become genuinely interested in God, and look at the rest of the world with an entirely new set of eyes. Think about all these other set of people, and what they are going through. Even though you are poor, there are multitudes of other poor people with you, all deserving of your mercy.” He outlined the story of the prodigal son in the parable of the lost coin.
As I continued to listen to Joel, I was glad I had my walk with Jesus. He had opened up a whole universe for me. Suddenly I saw it all, and I could explain to my daughter and my friend and everybody else who seeks to know how to live a life of generosity and brotherly love. You see, the coin-operated elevator and the man-made log were both forms of most common living examples of how we commonly live, draw, and propel wealth. The two coin incidents had become symbols of how we give, and continue to give. In this case, both of these ” coins” had significant stories behind them. They particularly stood out because they were so over-emphasized in their ability to elicit strong emotions from the memory bank of our psyche.
In the first coin-op incident I was simply stood beside a Hummer H2, humbly working on avable problem while he entered a fantastic, to me, sermon with his personal anecdote, then continued to listen to his sermon without heeding to a single word he say. All that I remember was that I was unable to stop crying. Not only that, I felt as if there were EMPTYING POWER from these two emotionally charged coins. They sent shivers down my spine and if the Hummer wasn’t in front of me I just knew the GENTLEman behind the Wheel of Samsara was driving the car. Was he really God? Why didn’t he intervene? Or, had he jumped into the bomb shelter just a little earlier? Where is he hiding out, and, behind him, are all those people who HAD the misfortune to cross his path? Were they innocent children? Mymind worked frantically to figure this out. Why had I wasted so much time crying? And, Where is this “God” guy, and, why was he driving by in his truck? The situation was Samaritans vs. Philistines, S. J. walking on water, and now the USA under God’s Seas? I knew that the USA would win, but what would all those people who lost their lives matter later on? Certainly nothing to be worried about, I figured, since I was a goody two shoes and didn’t believe a word of what those poor, faithless Christians were saying.
The only problem was I had plenty of those poor, faithless Christians on my conscience. I was a little embarrassed to look them squarely in the eye, but in love I did. I scrutinized their words and actions. I even “measured” the Hummer. Yes, I listened to him recite Bible verses. But is that what it was all about? My God, Right or Wrong, and where is he really residing? Later that very night, a Hummer drove by and blasting the poor, faithless Christians. Was this act of violence not an irony? Or was it a call for Christians to start being more Christ-like? Perhaps it was both.
After the class ended, a woman came to me and said she was a Christian believer. She said she still had tears in her eyes and thanked me for not proclaiming loudly in my truck that she was born a Christian.