Watch Aaron in the film Holy Wars

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Jesus in an orange suit

I know it's been a while since I've posted. For those of you who anxiously check my blog every day for your daily dosage of wisdom and inspiration, I deeply apologize that I have let you down by not posting every day. For those of you who feel that this last sentence was far too generous, I understand. No..really...I do.

If you are wondering what the title means, let me explain. Last week, while I was in New Mexico visting my father in law, Eliot O Brien, I went to the county jail where he and a friend, Pastor Steve Marquez minister every week to the local inmates. I had been in jails in prisons in other countries, but, believe it or not, I can not recall ever visiting a jail here in the U.S. Every week, different inmates request Pastor Steve and my father in law for spiritual counseling. Many, if not most, are unsaved but hungry for God. When they get out of jail, often Pastor Steve and Eliot will drive them across the country to a faith-based rehab faciility so that they can deal with their addictions and find Christ at the same time.

Here we are sitting in a little room with nothing but a table and some chairs. We hear a knock on the door and the guard brings in the first man seeking spiritual counseling for that day. The three of us are sitting behind the table and on the other side is a drug attict with a list of felony convictions the size of a bulletin board: larceny, theft, you name it..he did it. The young man proceeded to tell us that his real problem was meth. As I looked into his eyes, I could see that he had lost all hope. As Pastor Steve and Eliot talked with him at length, I couldn't help but thinking that, although this man would be considered a loser by society's standards, the real person receiving the ministry was Jesus.

The brilliance of Jesus Christ is not only His love for the poor and the weak, but also how He identifies with them. Jesus said, "I was hungry and you fed me, sick and you took care of me, naked and you clothed me, in prison and you visited me." It is one thing to care about the downtrodden from a distance. It is quite another thing to identify with them. Jesus gives meaning and value to the pimps, the prostitutes, the drug atticts, in short..the losers.. by telling the world, "If you show kindness to them, you are actually showing kindness to me." If you think about it, this is what the message of the cross is really about. Jesus, the sinless one, identifies with our sin so that we can identify with His glory. This is why Christians should be the first ones to see people not for what it looks like on the outside, but for their potential on the inside.

After what He has done for us, I think that is the least we can do.


Pete said...

Good post! I'm glad that there are people who can see past the whole " scum of the earth " mindset and remember that those are people behind those bars. I guess I identify with them for my own reasons though.

toby said...

pete, quite an interesting comment...

aaron, i agree it was a good post.

Paul said...

Classic, Pete. Just classic.