5/15/13 Mike and Jessica late 20’s
I like the way “Orcs” are depicted in the Lord of the Rings movies: fierce and intimidating at first, overwhelming both in appearance and numbers, but they soon fall apart when the Hobbits and their friends quit cowering in fear and begin to take action. It reminds me of the spiritual battles we face, “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph. 6:12) I think sharing our faith will always be this sort of spiritual battle, not because the people we talk to are the enemy, but because there are spiritual forces, both in our flesh and in the world, that oppose us. Yesterday I was driving home from work when I noticed a biker and his girlfriend – Mike and Jessica - sitting at a table outside a burger joint. He had the customary Harley-Davidson parked next to him and was decked out in all the biker gear designed to make him look fierce. His carefully constructed image said to the world “I live for myself, speak my mind, do as I please, couldn’t care less what anyone says, and I’ll hurt you if you come near me!”. He reminded me of, well, an Orc! Jessica looked almost as intimidating. I felt led to stop my car and talk to them, so I did; knowing that if I hesitated I would quickly lose heart, change my mind, and feel like an idiot. I parked, walked over, and asked if they would answer a crazy question. Of course, with a fearless image like his, how could he refuse? “What do you think will happen after you die?” He answered like any good biker would – “I’m either going to hell or limbo, cause I definitely ain’t been good enough for heaven!” His girlfriend agreed. We talked about this a while. He told me his friends call him “Psycho”, and that he had stopped going to church a long time ago. He laughed about hell or purgatory, saying he’ll probably go there and have a beer. It’s where the real party is. Heaven is for boring church people. His idea of being a Christian is that it goes completely against the rebellious self-image he tries so hard to portray. But my boldness as a religious guy asking some honest and direct questions threw him for a loop. He mocked them, trying to maintain a sense of bravado, but eventually said “You know, I’ve heard it said that you shouldn’t talk about religion or politics”, trying to get off the topic. “But you look like a guy who speaks his mind” I reminded him. He had to agree. We talked some more and he continued to try to maintain his reckless image, which unfortunately meant he wasn’t really giving me very honest responses to my questions. I decided to leave before I wore out my welcome, but challenged both Mike and Jessica that “we will spend a lot longer in eternity than we will spend here on this earth”. Aside from all the bravado, I do believe they will think more seriously about eternal things, and I also hope Mike realizes that there is more to being a church guy than being a “goody-two shoes” and cowering in fear!