by Sheri Schofield
I intended to sleep in this morning. But nature intervened. A loud cacophony of distressed bird noises penetrated my sleepy brain. I wondered, “Did the wild turkey’s eggs hatch? Is the gobbler fighting with another gobbler? What’s going on?”
I sat up in bed and rubbed my eyes. Well, if the turkey eggs hatched, I’m definitely going to want pictures! Abandoning my nice, warm bed, I threw on some clothes and hurried outside to see what the clatter was all about.
There on top of the 40-foot boulder pile next to our house stood two Canada geese, squawking at the top of their lungs. What on earth are they doing here? Their pond is three miles away, as the goose flies!
I walked around the boulders to get a better look. The geese were practicing their landing skills. I guess they were used to landing on water and wanted a bigger challenge. Teenagers! I surmised. I’m used to the antics of young animals. The males prefer adrenalin rushes, so they engage in daring feats. Since the geese have webbed feet, they had no way to grip the rock, unlike the ravens that practice flying from that same boulder. So, every time they coasted in for a landing, the geese honked and squawked until they were securely perched on the rock.
The other birds in the forest were protesting loudly. I even heard the moose, who naps behind those boulders, give a loud snort. “Stop disturbing the peace!” the other animals and birds were shouting, each in its own language. It wasn’t hard to translate.
Churches sometimes react the same way when someone new arrives who has serious needs. Many people attend church for the sole purpose of finding peace in their hearts for the week ahead. When someone in crisis shows up, others can resent this intrusion into their peace. They don’t want to hear it— “Don’t disturb us! We don’t want to believe what you’re saying or help you with your problem!”
But isn’t helping the wounded exactly what the church is supposed to do? God did not call us to be like the wild animals! He did not call us to regard church as a social club. It is a hospital for those in spiritual—and sometimes physical—need.
Once when Jesus was teaching in a house, three men tore the roof off part of it and lowered their paralyzed friend down to Jesus, who healed the man (see Mark 2:1-12). Nothing is said of how the homeowner felt about the hole in his roof. I’m guessing he probably left the hole for a few days to tell of the miracle done there!
When Jesus cast a legion of demons out of a possessed man outside Gadara and sent the demons into a herd of pigs, the pigs ran off a cliff. This frightened the inhabitants of the town so much, they asked Jesus to leave their region (see Mark 5:1-20.).
Would we rather celebrate what God is doing to restore people in our churches? Or would we rather tell Jesus to go away so our lives will not be disturbed?
Isaiah prophesied this about Jesus: “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 61:1 NIV).
I want to be part of that!
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 NIV
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Sheri Schofield is an award-winning children’s author-illustrator and children’s ministry veteran of 40 years. Sheri was named Writer of the Year in 2018 at the Colorado Christian Writers’ Conference for her work in effectively sharing the gospel of Jesus. Her ministry, Faithwind 4 Kids, can be followed on her blog at her website, http://www.sherischofield.com. Questions welcomed!
FREE CHILDREN’S PROGRAM! Author/Children’s Bible teacher, Sheri Schofield, offers a free series of video lessons about Jesus and His salvation—for children ages 4 and up. It is available at her website www.sherischofield.com. In this video series, Walk-The-Talk Island, Sheri presents her award-winning book The Prince and the Plan, in 24 video lessons for your children, grandchildren and any others with whom you wish to share. In addition, Campfire provides devotions for children.
Join the Conversation: What motivates our hesitancy to reach out to those who are different than us?