Frank walked along the path in the early evening. “It won’t be long before it is dark,” he mused, “I should be getting back.” In a few minutes the sun was down and darkness was closing in rapidly. He knew the path well, but the darkness began to conceal it. He wished he had left home earlier or at least brought a flash light.
As he rounded the bend about one mile from the main road, a figure stepped out in front of him. He could sense the size of the man, but couldn’t make out his features. “Hello?” The intruder didn’t speak. “Excuse me,” he said as he tried to go around this silent interruption to his solitude. The man grabbed him by the arm. Alarm spread through Frank as he asked, “What do you want?” Still there was no response.
Gathering his courage, Frank began to speak in soft tones. “Sir, I don’t know why you have put yourself in my way tonight, but I have good news for you.” The hold on his arm loosened slightly. “You may not be aware that there is someone who loves you very much. He lives in me an wants me to tell you that he understands and that he knows you are frightened and alone and that you don’t know what to do or where to turn.
He calls Himself the Way and I am His follower. He knows that you thought to harm me by getting in my way tonight, but instead he wants to save you and has sent you to me, so that I could help you. Won’t you please tell me why you are here and how I can help?” For the first time, the man spoke, “My name is Stanley and I don’t know what to do.”
Frank thought he heard a sob escape from the man and he reached out and placed his hand over the hand the held him. “It’s okay. Let’s go get a cup of coffee and work this out.”
Frank knew who he had inside him. He knew Him well. Fear had tried to win the day when the tall anonymous man grabbed his arm, but he immediately turned to the One who lives in him and recovered his peace. After whispering a brief prayer, he was able to share the Way out of the problems that Stanley was encountering.
This is what is possible to us when we lay aside religion and get to know Jesus. He IS the Way, the Truth and the Light. When the Way truly lives in us, we can be bold in the most threatening situations. As long as we are alive, the love of Jesus can reach out.
Sometimes we are so busy judging the person who is in trouble that we don’t want to be around them. There are many stories of people who go to church to find help only to be told they don’t measure up. It is God’s job to judge the world and for believers there is ‘no condemnation.’ When we judge others, it clouds our thinking and keeps us from the love that sets us all free.
So the question for today is: Are you in the way or is the Way in you?