(January 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds shares an interesting concept …
Muriel (not real names here) was a small town local church gossip. Unmarried, she was the self-appointed monitor of the church’s moral behaviour and was sure to keep an eye on people, sticking her nose into where it did not belong. Several church members were unhappy and uncomfortable with her extra-curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.
And so, Muriel continued undeterred in her presumptions… until the incident with new church member, Harold. One evening just before the prayer meeting, she accused him of being an alcoholic… she’d seen his car parked in front of the town’s only bar that afternoon. Before several others she sternly told Harold off, saying that everyone seeing his car there would know what he was doing!
Harold, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment, then turned and walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny anything. He said nothing… but later that evening he quietly parked his car in front of unmarried Muriel’s house… and left it there all night!
Contrast that with this: Your car breaks down and you find yourself unexpectedly stranded at midnight in an unfamiliar, intimidating, dimly lit city back street. As you try to get your bearings, you hear the noise of voices from some young men who have just exited a building and appear to be loitering. Then they notice you, look at one another and start coming your way, their footsteps noisy on the cobbled pavement…
Wouldn’t it make all the difference in the world to know whether this ‘gang’ had just left a night club – or an anointed, exhilarating Bible study?
Two striking examples of loitering with intent – one presumptuous, the other pressing.
Loitering… legally, society deems ‘loitering with intent’ to be a crime, but scripturally, it is about a claim – God’s claim. It’s not about stalking but seeking. Loitering with intent for God’s purposes comes from… (more…)