As I was about to leave the pulpit a Voice seemed to say to me, "Haven't I done anything for you?"
"Yes," I replied. "You have done everything for me."
"Well," said the Voice. "Couldn't you tell them about that?"
Instead of taking a long walk of shame to his seat, he said to the congregation, "Friends, I see I cannot preach, but I love Jesus."
He proceeded to explain how a man who had once been a "wild, reckless" youth in the community had been given new life and a determination to serve Jesus.
Jones wrote that this experience of initiation into ministry taught him an important lesson: God did not need him to be His lawyer with great arguments and fancy words; God needed a witness.
Isn't this what every Christian is supposed to be? We cannot prove that Christ is who he said he is except by the love he has given us, that love that is meant to overflow to those around us.
I have been stumbling toward God from childhood, sometimes doing my best, sometimes doing a poor job of it. But it seems to me the best witnesses for Christ are often the prodigal sons; they know how to witness for God. They understand in detail the darkness, the poverty of human existence; they've experienced it, and they want to pull as many as they can from the clutches of quiet or not-so-quiet despair. Think about the great Christian evangelists, teachers and writers. The Apostle Paul, St. Augustine, Edith Stein, Thomas Merton, C.S. Lewis: they all experienced conversion, and then they devoted their lives completely to Christ.
Another man who understood that God needs no lawyers, no great debaters - but passionate witnesses - was Keith Green. A former drug abuser, hard-living musician and believer in "free love", he had a terrible experience while on tour in a foreign country that devastated him. He pulled himself out of the abyss through the grace of Jesus Christ and began using all his talents for the One who had saved him.
Here is a video of the talented Keith Green singing the joyous Easter Song by Annie Herring.
Our Lord has risen. Happy Easter, my friends, readers! He has risen. Alleluia! Alleluia!