Those Crazy Christians Are At It Again

So a woman my wife and I know approached me at the gym one morning this week and wanted to tell me a story about a kid at the school she’s works at whose life is really turning around. For reasons that I’m sure you’ll understand, I won’t share anything too specific but let’s say that he wasn’t the teacher’s favorite student, the office staff was very familiar with him and so were the police.

But that’s where the story starts to get good. Holding back tears the woman told me that the whole school has noticed a change in this kid. She said that there are a few factors involved in the turnaround but, according to her, one of the most important is that guys from The Crossing have started to “pour into him.” Some help coach his sports team. Others are involved with him at COR (a holistic ministry to student athletes in Columbia). He’s been coming to church and the staff, leaders, and other kids have taken a real interest in him. She walked away while patting me on my sweaty shoulder and quietly said, “The church is making a big difference.”

Christians get a bad rap and sometimes deservedly so. But when I look around what I mostly see are Christians loving and serving others.

There’s Drs. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol who contacted ebola while serving as missionaries in Liberia. Do you think they could’ve used their medical training to make money or have a comfortable lifestyle? Sure, but instead they traded that in to risk their lives serving people in the name of Christ.

Or consider this quote from Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times…

But in reporting on poverty, disease and oppression, I’ve seen so many others. Evangelicals are disproportionately likely to donate 10 percent of their incomes to charities, mostly church-related. More important, go to the front lines, at home or abroad, in the battles against hunger, malaria, prison rape, obstetric fistula, human trafficking or genocide, and some of the bravest people you meet are evangelical Christians (or conservative Catholics, similar in many ways) who truly live their faith.

I’m not particularly religious myself, but I stand in awe of those I’ve seen risking their lives in this way — and it sickens me to see that faith mocked at New York cocktail parties.

Or consider Adam Wainwright, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, who teams up with other Christian athletes to raise money for driving water in Honduras, filling backpacks of needy St. Louis kids with food for the weekend, building homes for those without, or many other good deeds all because they know that Jesus loves people.

Back in Columbia members of The Crossing are serving kids with disabilities in the Challenger League out at Daniel Boone.

I think my point is that, by God’s grace, a lot of Christians are being faithful to their Savior by loving and serving others. I don’t have time and space to tell you about the group from The Crossing that goes to the prisons or the group that builds houses with Habitat or the group that funds orphanages and schools in Africa or the group that builds houses in impoverished Jamaica or the group that serves at a mission in Guatemala or the group that ministers to families with kids that have special needs or the group that is adopting kids without homes or families or the group that…well you get the point.

Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)

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