Thursday, April 15, 2010

Finding Jesus in Barnes & Noble

Recently, I was moved by a student at a Barnes & Noble in Indianapolis, IN. My family and I were browsing the store, sitting in comfortable chairs to view our “books of choice,” and drinking a Venti coffee from the Starbucks located in the store, when a loud voice echoed throughout the bookcases and display tables… I just have to find him! I need to touch him! I have to see his face. Jesus, where are you? Jesus, I need to see your face? Jesus! Jesus!

A teen boy with special needs escaped three other teens, and his parents and was moving quickly throughout the shelving while yelling, “I need to find him! By the time they caught him and was able to calm him down, he had already located two employees and drug them to the “Religious and Spirituality” section of the bookstore in hopes that they could help him find Jesus in a picture book. He desired to see the image of Christ and to touch His face.

My 9 year old son looked to me and said, “As funny as that seemed, that was pretty cool. More people should want to see Jesus.” After swallowing deeply and trying to hold back my emotions, “I told Schyler that he was wise beyond his years” and that “many are looking for Jesus, we just fail to show them where to find Him and what He looks like. ”

As I meet people throughout our community, I find that many people are searching for something to fill the void in their hearts and lives, yet they don’t know where to find that unexplainable missing piece of the puzzle. As believers, we know where to find the missing piece; however, we often fail to share the answer with them due to fear and narcissism.

We fail to see that people are hopeless and have no purpose without Christ. We fail to recognize that non-believers need to experience the merciful grace of God and understand the affection and tenderness of the Father. We fail to express to those that are lost that God looks upon the fallen, and seeks to rescue them from the deep and eternal wounds of sin.

We have forgotten that “because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” We have forgotten that it is “by grace you have been saved.” (Eph. 2:4-5) We have forgotten that were once obedient to Satan, children of wrath by nature and choice, godless and unclean, separated from God, strangers to the promise, and destined for Hell. We have forgotten that we too were searching for the hope that only Jesus can provide.

What will it take for us to see THE CAUSE for what it really is? What needs to happen for us to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those who are lost and seeking? Are we prepared to take the time to “Go Wide” by showing someone how they might experience life as it was crated to be? Do we even know how and have the courage to effectively share the GOSPEL message? Are we prepared to take the time to “Go Deep” and walk through the journey with someone and help disciple them? Do we even desire to see Him…to touch Him…to Go into the world and preach the Gospel, so that others might do the same in eternity?

I don’t know if the teen boy found the picture he wanted, but the one that was shared with him by the clerk calmed him down and gave him a sense of peace. If the image of Christ in a book can subside anxiety, give hope, and create a peace in one’s life in a Barnes & Noble Bookstore, how much more can the God of life, hope, and purpose give to someone who’s destitute? Let’s do as God desires and commands… Share THE CAUSE!