Wednesday, September 18, 2013

This little light of mine

I was listening to some country gospel music while driving the other day. Some good ol' boy came on to sing a song that wasn't terribly impressive musically, but I found the words arresting: For some folks, you're the only Bible they're gonna read!

It is so easy to forget that when a driver refuses to pull over to the right lane, or we see another driving in an erratic manner while texting, or when someone cuts in line as we're standing in the supermarket.

And while this old country gospel song is true for you and me, it is especially true for those persons who wear Christianity on their sleeve, like preachers, missionaries, chaplains, and leaders of Christian organizations and agencies.

I bring this up because I found the actions, or I should say lack of action, most disappointing in two recent incidents involving prisoners.

In the first, an inmate shared with me how much he loved church as a child, and how he revered the pastor of his church at that time. Later in life, he took a wrong path and ended up in prison. His mother contacted the minister that the guy had loved as a kid and asked him to visit her son. When he learned that the man was in prison, he refused to go see him, saying there was nothing he could do for him. This man not only broke a prisoner's heart, but he broke the heart of Jesus who had a particular love for those behind bars.

And then we learned that some power-hungry guard in one of the Michigan prisons took away the materials that a religious group uses for worship services. And because this wasn't the same religion as that of the chaplain, he failed to step in and do anything about it. How does that make Christianity look?

Hide it under a bushel? NO!

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