Lukas Reiter tells of a ruthless criminal who is speaking to his daughter on the phone. He’s telling her of a very dear friend whose life he had saved many years earlier. The man he’d saved attached himself to the brutal criminal as a protector and now the protector was himself in serious harm’s way. He muses into the phone and wonders, “Why does someone so decent spend his every day around me, someone so indecent…?
His daughter ventures the guess that he did it because he felt gratitude to his deliverer but her father isn’t having that. He wasn’t really asking for an explanation; he just wanted to hear himself spelling out his sense of the wonder of it all.
“No,” he murmured, “He didn’t see me as a savior—he saw me as the man I am, a man surrounded by darkness, with no friends who could be trusted, one who didn’t believe that loyalty or love could ever exist. He committed to me to show me that day and every day, that the world is not what I feared it to be. He’s the light in the darkness; (he’s) living proof that there is another way. That life can be good and people kind. That a man like me might one day dream of becoming a man like him. He pledged his life, offered it up as evidence that I was wrong about the world. He guards my life because he’s determined to save my soul.”
I believe in such people! People who are not Jesus but make us think of Jesus. The kind of people Jesus would have watched with those searching eyes of His, eager to see their way and listening with the pleasure growing within Him to hear their strong and gracious words keeping strugglers with life from entering into a darkness so deep that there’d be no way back up out of it.
I do believe in Sin! How could I not? For am I not a sinner! And don’t I see it dressed in fine clothes and don’t I hear it speak in persuasive tones with perfect diction as it pours out lies that corrupt and damn? Don’t we see its gloomy shadow lying across little nations killing all hope? I do believe in corrupt people who fill the very air with moral darkness until there’s no sun in the sky and leading countless poor souls to wonder if there’s a sky at all.
But I believe in good people for I have seen them and heard them speak and watched the change come over people who had until then only seen life out of soulless eyes. They assure me about God. If humans in a world like this can love like that—God can love no less! Jacob in Genesis 33, worried sick with fear that his brother Esau in bitterness and in power would treat him harshly instead sees the face of God on the face of his sinned-against brother. Not a scathing word that strips the flesh from his bones, not a hint of violence, but tears of joy to see his brother well. If we see it in Esau should be expect less of Jesus? I believe in such people and they help me to believe more assuredly in GOD.