Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sisters, Brothers

One love, one blood, one life, you got to do what you should.
One life with each other: sisters, brothers.
One life, but we're not the same.
We get to carry each other, carry each other.

U2 - One, from their album Achtung Baby

We often hear this phrase, and variations, “Jesus is all you need.” While no doubt true in its context, have you also seen cases where this notion became an excuse to cop out on relational responsibilities Jesus expects of us in regards to one another? What did Jesus tell us? On his last night, Jesus left us with these words, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." - John’s Gospel, Ch. 13:34-35. In the next chapter, Jesus repeats this command two more times, and elaborates with the metaphor of the vine, and then says, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends…”

On Veterans Day, I drove my wife Kathy and a friend of ours to a book signing in Miami. We got to talking over lunch and our friend told us about a book she was writing. Turns out our friend grew up in a non-Christian home but was attracted to the message and way of Christ at an early age through people in her neighborhood. She recently became Catholic. She sent us a couple of chapters in her book and I had a chance to read them this morning. Her main character is Bobby, a boy who is basically good, but because he is going through puberty is getting in trouble in ways that confuse both him and his parents. After one incident where everything comes crashing down and Bobby runs crying to his room, a family friend, Rev. Jacobs, counsels him then says, “‘I have something that might help you see that even in our greatest moments of despair, we are never alone.’ He reached into the pocket of his jacket. He pulled out a bookmark and handed it to [him]. Written on it was a story titled, ‘Footprints in the Sand.’”

You know “Footprints,” where it says, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand is when I carried you.” My question for our friend, and for us is this: Was Jesus carrying Bobby, or was He using Rev. Jacobs to?

Our friend, by the way, LG Putzer, said that if she answered the question she’d give away the secret message in her third book. (The title of the book is called Stuck in the Friend Zone. It's part of the Bobby Isaacs Chronicles.)

Who will we carry?


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