Once there were two men. These two men met for lunch at their favorite café. It’d been years. They had graduated high school together, and their lives had separated. One had become a faithful farmer and the other had gone on to become a mechanic. They talked and they talked and they talked. The whole afternoon they talked, about life, about family and about work. Lastly, they talked about their “religion.”
“You know, I can’t stand Christianity. I’m sorry. It’s so hypocritical,” Bill shook his head and leaned back in his chair. He waited for Clark’s response because Clark had always been the more “religious” of the two.
“In what ways?”
“Well, the preacher will start out a crusade thing with, ‘All you have to do is ask!’ and then he’ll end it with, ‘Now, just go out and work for Jesus! Spread the Word!’ Now, you tell me how in the world does that make sense! You claim those other people are wrong for thinking their works get them to heaven, and then you use your works as a crutch yourselves!” Bill had leaned forward and twisted his face into a determined set. He had heard this numerous times. His grandma, his ex-wife and many others had told him this or had dragged him to church to hear this. He wasn’t prepared for Clark’s response.
“You know, Bill? I don’t know if you remember, but a few years back my wife and I had a son. Ten years ago tomorrow, actually. I know we sent you a birth announcement. Anyway. He cost us a ton of money! We loved him to pieces, but we had to keep spending money on more diapers, medicine, clothes and man, did the food bill jump! We hardly ever got a night’s sleep. Well, I don’t know if you remember, but a couple years ago, he died. He doesn’t cost us a thing anymore. He’s dead. I’d do anything, anything, to get him back, Bill, anything.” Clark’s eyes had grown soft, but more intense as he spoke of his son. Bill did indeed remember this fact, but he didn’t see the connection between his friend’s son’s death and these Christians.
“I’m so sorry, Clark. But what does this have to do with Christianity?”
“Because while he was alive he cost me something. When he died, he didn’t. If having God as our closest Friend doesn’t cost something, your relationship with Him is dead. That’s what the preacher was talking about.”
I took this from an illustration my Daddy used in his messages on Saturday, August 27th, 2011 at Mayger Downing Community Church Family Camp.