Saturday, October 22, 2011

God Will Forgive Me... for throwing your tract in the garbage.

I took the boys to the park today. Corey is playing in a fundraising volleyball tournament. I thought it would be fun to go. Not being sure which side of the lake the sand was on, I parked and walked. In the stroll from one side to the other, three groups of people tried to give me tracts. The first group told me they were doing something for DNow. Being a youth minister's wife, I took the paper, thinking it was a flier of some sort. Briefly, I thought, "DNow is in January." Of course, I found myself holding a tract that assured me God will forgive me. I am glad to know that God will forgive me for throwing that tract in the next trash can we passed.

When the next group stopped to ask if anyone had given me a tract, because they wanted to give me one, I assured them I had been given the paper. "We're a ministry family, so we don't really need tracts," I heard myself say. That was the most polite sentence I could produce at that point. The adult leading the group thanked me for taking the tract and we parted ways. 

This is when we came to the trash can where I threw the tract away. As I did so, another girl approached me and offered me a tract. I said something along the lines of, "Got it, we're covered," before continuing onto the volleyball court. I was fuming. I want to print up my own tract to hand to these people when I am approached by them. "Yes, I'll take your tract. Here, you take mine." This is what I want to write...

Dear person handing out tracts,
Have you ever considered saying hello to people with nothing in your hands? Maybe, you could have stopped me and asked my name. You might have introduced yourself, asked me how I am doing, offered to pray with me over something on my heart. Maybe you could have just talked a bit. We might have gotten to know each other. If I know you and like you, I am more likely to care what you think about things like religion. As is, I do not feel loved by you and your faith. I feel like a checkbox. "Gave her a tract. Check. Duty done." Do you pat yourself on the back for all of the souls you might have saved? Because, most people do what I did. They throw your paper away without ever reading it. You are only a brief interruption in their day.
I have read the Bible. A lot. I am pretty fond of Jesus. I gave Him my life when I was 16 years old. 13 years later, we're pretty tight. In all of my Bible reading, I can't recall Jesus handing people little scrolls that explained His purpose for their lives. Not once. What I do remember about Jesus is how He stopped to talk to people. He listened and asked questions. He touched them, prayed over them, healed them... loved them.
He loved them. He loves you. He loves me.
If you love Him, quit throwing paper at the world's problems. Stop a moment. See Jesus in those of us around you. Love us like He loves us. It won't just save our souls. It will save yours too.

A couple of hours later, the boys and I piled into the car for the drive home. As I steered the car and got the audio book going, I noticed something under my wiper blade.

A tract.

Four tracts in two hours. Should I be worried, y'all? Is my immortal soul in danger here? I've been forced to listen to judgement house plans for a few weeks now, as the kids in my origami class are doing one at their church. I have bit my tongue till I taste blood. A friend and I are considering lining our church property with scripture signs, while the church across the street runs their judgement house. Here are a couple I want to use:

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. - John 3:17
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. - Luke 6:37

What verses would you add?

1 comment:

  1. What in the world is a "judgment house?" and yay for writing out your thoughts---my best replies always come to me hours later. p.s. I'm pretty sure your soul is not in danger. :) then again, what do I know? I'm catholic!!!


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