I’ve told this story many times and never tire of the excuse to tell it so here…
A few years ago, I was traveling home from town in the bus. Being the people watcher that I so avidly am, I watched the people who got on. Most of them consisted of people in business suits returning home from what I’m sure was a busy day of work. Then three young guys walked on. All of them were low-riding their jeans, and wore hoodies. One wore a bandana, another a G-unit cap. They were what you could perceive as your average gangsta wannabe’s. They got on, walked down to the back of the bus and sat down, laughing and chatting away.
A few more business people later, a man walks onto the bus. He’s completely flustered because he’s run to make the bus on time while carrying a few bags full of groceries. He puts the bags down and searches his pockets for his wallet and his bus card. I watched him struggle to find his card and apologise over and over to an impatient bus driver who gave nothing but an eye-roll. Then I watched one of the “gangsta-wannabes” get up and walk right past me toward the front. He dropped a few coins on the till for the bus driver saying, “I’ve got it”, then he walked back to his seat.
In the weekend at Southern Youth Leaders’ Training, Mike King spoke of the divine already happening. We often start our evangelistic ventures at the fall, telling people that they’re sinners and should be saved, but it’s hardly compelling is it?
What if the story had a different beginning?
Actually, every person is made – Imago Dei – in the image of God. Everyone is engaged in the mission of God because they’re made Imago Dei. But we’re fallen, fallible and eat bad fruit. And essentially, we engage in conflict. But then God’s desire is to restore us to that original purpose.
Imagine how a conversation could have followed…
“You, gangsta dude, are totally involved in the mission of God?”
“WTF?! I gave some coins to a guy who needed them. How is that the mission of God?”
“Bro, Jesus is all about loving people and giving coins to people who need them.”
“Hmmm… tell me more…”