A large wooden crate with a big dog inside rested on a railroad station platform. The dog was very sad. It wasn’t that he was ugly or abused. He just looked forsaken. A young woman noticed the dog and asked about him. The railroad employee replied, “You would be sad, too, if you were in his place. He’s chewed the tag off the crate and doesn’t know where he’s going.”
That sounds like many people in our world today, doesn’t it? They have untold modern resources. They’re skilled, well-educated, and talented. They’re in good health. They have almost everything they could want.
Yet they’ve chewed the tag off their spiritual crate. They are bogged down and they are lost. They do not know how to educate their children to be responsible moral Christians. They have no idea how to find the path for a divorce-proof marriage. As our Lord said about the crowds of his day, “They are like sheep without a shepherd.”
Milton Cunningham, a missionary, tells us about a time when he failed to share the Good News. He had just settled in for his flight from Atlanta to Dallas. He sat next to a young girl with Downs Syndrome. She turned to Milton and, in all her innocence, asked, “Mister, did you brush your teeth this morning?”
Awkwardly Milton answered, “Well, yes, I brushed my teeth this morning.” “Good,” the girl responded, “’cause that’s what you’re supposed to do.” Her next question was, “Mister, do you smoke?” When he said no, the little girl answered, “Good, ‘cause smoking will make you die.”
The third question was even easier to answer. The young girl asked, “Mister, do you love Jesus?” Milton answered with confidence, “Well, yes, I do love Jesus.” “Good, ‘cause we’re all supposed to love Jesus,” she replied.
Just then, another man settled into the seat beside Milton. The girl urged Milton to ask the new passenger if he had brushed his teeth that morning. Milton didn’t want to disturb the stranger, but the girl persisted. He gave in and said, “Mister, sorry to bother you, but my friend here wants me to ask you if you brushed your teeth this morning.” When the man noticed the girl, he realized that her question was innocent, and he answered that yes, he had brushed his teeth.
With a sinking feeling, Milton realized where this was going. The girl urged him to ask the stranger if he smoked. Milton and the man went through the second question. The girl wanted Milton to ask the third question – did he love Jesus? Milton said that question was too personal.
Remember, Milton was a missionary. Yet, something made him uncomfortable about sharing the Good News with this passenger. The young girl persisted, so Milton said, “Now she wants to know if you love Jesus.”
The man’s face darkened. He began to talk about his desire to know God. He was in fact searching for God, for meaning and purpose in life. He didn’t know where to turn. So Milton explained to him how to have a relationship with God and salvation through Jesus Christ.
We may at times may be as hesitant to share the Good News, as Milton was. Yet, the world we live in today is the same world to which Christ sent his disciples. It’s a world that is lost and is turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, food, pornography, instead a relationship with God. It is a world of people who are hungry and thirsty for the Good News that we have to share.
If you had good news about how to cure cancer, would you be embarrassed to share it with others? Why are we embarrassed to share the Good News of God’s plan to cure the ills of our lives? Share your gifts.