“Oh my God! How could this happen?” She called out to her husband who was just descending the stairs.
“How could what happen?” Jason quizzed her.
“Do you remember that guy we met at the convention last month? His name was…”
“Marty somebody, yeah I remember him, he was kinda hard to forget. With all that in-your-face proselytizing about becoming Missionaries and spreading the word of God to the world and all that kingdom stuff! What about him?”
“It says here,” Brenda interrupted him, “that on the night of October 22nd Martin Cyznisky was robbed and shot to death by person or persons unknown. The police are theorizing that he stopped to give someone a lift and was carjacked.”
Brenda put down the paper and stared at her husband in awkward silence as he quietly sat facing her.
His face betrayed the guilt he felt inside, the same guilt he saw reflected in his wife’s eyes.
They rationalized that he was simply naïve to think that one person could make any measurable difference in the world!
What, with all the famine and war and diseases running rampant globally it made more sense to secure your own position first, instead of running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to right every wrong in the world, after all, “Charity begins at home,” Jason remembered saying to him!
“But it ends abroad,” Marty had countered. “The average Christian,” he continued, “gets all he can and ‘cans’ all he gets, it’s only about me, myself and I, his charity doesn’t end abroad it ends right where it started… At HIS home!”
“I don’t want to start preaching (“Too late,” Jason thought) but the great commission says GO into all the world and make disciples of men, if we…!”
“My point is this,” Brenda cut him short, “how can we leave our own homes undone and try to tell other people how to run theirs? What right do we have to tell other people to leave their religion and join ours when…?”
“That’s your problem right there,” Marty returned, his voice rising in pitch and volume, “you’re trying to convert people to a religion when that was NEVER God’s intention!”
Jason and Brenda stared at him quizzically.
“If the average Christian couple is in debt and their marriage is limping along how can they go tell Hakeem who owns a successful business and is happily married to stop serving Allah and come serve Jesus?”
“So he can have what THEY have?!”
“REPENT! FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND!” He declared evangelistically!
The conversation had started getting a little too uncomfortable for Brenda and Jason so they’d made excuses and left Marty still trying to convince them they were hearing and sharing the wrong message.
“Naïve and deluded,” Jason labeled him after departing his presence.
“Zealous and dangerous,” Brenda added.
But now he was dead.
And strangely, it seemed that in his death his message took on new life!
So, as they sat across from each other reflecting on that meeting with the Missionary, Brenda couldn’t help but wonder after his words, “Not a religion BUT a kingdom! The message of ‘The Kingdom’ is what the world needs,” He had pleaded with them!
Now, with the darkening coffee stain as a reminder of the mess their life was in, Jason and Brenda found themselves seriously considering the Missionary’s position on the quality of the message they had been fed and why they were reluctant to share it with others.
It’s not about a religion that doesn’t work, it never was… It’s all about a kingdom lost and found!