Sunday, September 14, 2008

"You'll Know When You Meet Them" by Bruce Lindsay

The following article was written by my son-in-law, Bruce. This helps round out the idea of people looking on at what Christians act like….

Thanks Bruce….
~ Murray Lincoln ~

You'll Know When You Meet Them
By Bruce Lindsay

In the Prodigal's son story
"The father saw his son coming from far off…"
Is it just me, or do other people find this a wonderful part of the story. My kids both play football. They are on the field with eleven other athletes. From the sidelines, all anyone can see are a bunch of black and yellow jerseys, big shoulder pads and helmets. If I was to look for your boy, you'd have to tell me his number.

But I don't have to look for numbers to find my son and daughter. I can pick them out of thousands. I know them. Their walk is distinctive. I know their walk. I know them so well because I love them and spend all kinds of time with them.

My wife jokes that she can pick me out of a crowd because of my walk. I could do the same with her, except that she's so short she's lost in a crowd.

Isn't that exciting that Jesus added that to the parable? He wanted us to know our Heavenly Father knows us so well, He can see us coming from far off. I think Jesus wanted us to know how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He knows us from far off. HE KNOWS US!

To help illustrate this further here is account about my nephew, 'Little Boy'.

Little Boy’s View
I have a young nephew, 4 years old, named Eli. I have many nephews & nieces, cousins who have children who are just like nephews & nieces. I can't keep track of them all. So, in short, instead of trying to remember their names, I make up knick-names. The kids don't mind, in fact they usually like it. The parents don't usually like it.
Eli's knick-name is 'Little Boy'. When I call him 'Little Boy', he answers, "I'M NOT A LITTLE BOY! I'M FOUR!"

Eli is a Christian. At that age, he's not ashamed to tell you either. He wants to know if you are a Christian too. He's learned that if he asks everyone that, it sometimes makes people feel uncomfortable, they don't know what to say. So instead, he asks his parents, "Do these people know Jesus?"

Eli and his family visited our home over the summer. He was just a baby the last time we saw him, so he wouldn't remember us at all. Before arriving, unbeknownst to me, he had asked his mother (my sister), "Do these people know Jesus?"

My sister had just driven 17 hours from Nova Scotia and wasn't in the mood to chit-chat with him so she answered, "You'll know when you meet them."

After a few minutes in our home, he whispered in his mother's ear, "Oh yes. These people know Jesus."

She asked him, "How do you know that already?"

He answered, "I can tell by the angel."

In our home we have a good number of carvings. One is an angel carved by Murray Lincoln (my Father-in-Law). I think it was supposed to be a Christmas ornament, but we just like it, so we leave it out all year round. Eli saw the angel, put two and two together, and concluded that we know Jesus.

I think it would be a better story if Eli knew from the fact that I said grace, prayed with him before he went to bed, and let Jesus shine through everything I said and did. But I'm not going to be fussy. I'm proud this 'Little Boy' could tell that we know Jesus within just a few minutes of meeting us.

What about you? Do you know Jesus? If a 'Little Boy' came into your home, would he be able to tell that you do? Are there things in your home that reveal your faith, or are there things you would need to hide?

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Murray’s comment…
A long time ago in my early Christian experience I first heard the simple song that said it all…. “They’ll know you are Christian by your love….by your love… Yes they’ll know you are Christian by your love”. For me it was almost a chant. I think it came from the “Hippy Era” – or the early Charismatic movement.

When I first heard it – it was sung by a strange looking group of long haired people sitting cross legged on the floor, wearing “tie dyed” clothing and beads. Most of the guys had beards. And there was a faint smell of smoke from incense in the air. They certainly weren’t like the stuffy Christians that I had grown up with – each lady wearing a hat on Sunday – men in tight and uncomfortable suits and sitting in neat pews in an orderly fashion.

I was wearing a Brush Cut – the short, flat top kind and from a business world. Man did I ever look out of place. In the church I was cool… in this group I was anything but cool. But in front of God what was I? – What did He think?

Now 40 years later….and Eli – is looking at me… I wonder what He thinks?

~ ML ~


Anonymous said...

thank you for these illustration. Great reminder for all of us.

Sandra Knight said...

I heard of this fellow, came across some recordings done by him. Do you know if he has produced anything recently? sk