The Essential Ingredient

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I found myself talking for a long while about all sorts of very good stuff yesterday, in a home I had only been to once before. My doctor friend was interested in helping distribute free wheelchairs to his neighborhood. I immediately understood one of his motivations the first time I visited his house. His sister-in-law, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was lying alone in the bottom of a bunk bed, covered with blankets. She smiled at me, waving her free hand as best she could. I greeted her with pleasure. The least of these always deserve special treatment.

I went back yesterday, loading up 4 more wheelchairs still in their boxes, bringing the total to 7 chairs now waiting at my doctor friend’s house. His wife was there yesterday, and after the normal awkwardness of “what in the world is a gringo doing in my house,” she opened up, and we talked about everything from the fact that Christians (the evangelical sort) don’t believe in the Pope, and do not follow Catholic church doctrine that has been passed down through the centuries. “I don’t confess to the priest,” she confessed to me, “he’s just a man. I talk straight to God.”  Yes, He is our High Priest. No need for another mediator.

I was in a home, way up against the back side of the canal de la Compañía, the canal that, fortunately for my new friends, has always ruptured on the south side, the other side. Otherwise their house would have been completely covered with water. I gained entrance to their home, and in a remarkably rapid fashion, by doing such a simple thing…providing wheelchairs to needy people.

I do not mean to make church planting or evangelism sound too easy, but sometimes I think we make it too hard. I bet, I just bet that when I present a simple, gospel story tomorrow, people will be wide open to receiving it. And I can only imagine that if I would offer to teach a Bible study at that house every week, people would come to it. And people will come to the Savior.

 In this case it was wheelchairs…what else can it be? A warm, apple pie, technical advice for one’s computer, clean water, soccer equipment, English classes, homework help, construction or mechanical assistance, a stragically given financial gift, a hug, a hospital visit, an ongoing care visit, mowing someone’s lawn. And the list goes on and on.

Paradoxically the methods that are perhaps the most effective in today’s world do not fall into any religious category, no “churchiness” here. Just people, normal people with something increasingly rare and abnormal…and that special ingredient is LOVE.

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