September 22, 2016

Circle of Light

James 2:14-26

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

—  James 2:26

God started sending homeless travelers and misfits of all kinds to the small church we had started. One of those people was Dwayne.

Dwayne was tall, with swept-back silver hair, a black-leather vest, and cowboy boots. He was a soft-spoken, gentle, and wise believer. Sometimes, however, his alcoholism would attack like a shark and take him in its jaws to the depths. Nonetheless, my friend Ron welcomed Dwayne into his home with us.

One night Dwayne’s shark came, with the result that he got beat up in a bar. I found him passed out in a cheap hotel, with his face bludgeoned and vomit all over his shirt. I called church member Dick, and Dick called Ron, and they called Andy, and then they called me back, with instructions: “After you’re done, come to Ron’s.” So I let the air out of all the tires on Dwayne’s car so he couldn’t go anywhere, and I left.

It was late at night when I drove into Ron’s driveway. But I could see, through the front window, that all the guys were there, huddled under a light at Ron’s table. They were making phone calls, trying to find a treatment facility. Ron said he’d pay, and the other guys said they’d help.

I remember them sitting in that glowing circle of light. Sanc­ti­fication means that you do Jesus-like things in the world.

Lord, the needs of people overwhelm me. Show me which ones to get involved with. Help me to help you serve them with your love, please. Amen.

About the author — Keith Mannes

Keith Mannes serves as pastor at Highland Christian Reformed Church in McBain, Michigan. Keith and his wife, Alicia, recently celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary,
and they are thankful for their three children—Eben, Charis, and Breanna.

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