John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. John 5:35
If I want to experience more passion for Jesus, I hang around with those who have it because it’s catching. It’s contagious. That’s why ‘remembering and reviewing’ the stories of my spiritual heroes is so important to my spiritual walk. I ask myself, “Who was it that was on fire? What was resident in their lives that is missing in mine?”
John The Baptist ~ He was set apart from the mainstream. I love his depiction in The Gospel of John movie. (Ian Cusick was cast as Jesus and it is a word for word delivery, with acting, of the Good News Bible.) Watching John the Baptist, it seems he can not speak of Jesus, nor speak to Jesus, without being nearly breathless. When grilled by the Pharisees about who he was; the Messiah, a prophet, or even Elijah, John only described himself as being a voice, one too unworthy to untie the sandals of the Messiah to come. After John was beheaded, Jesus described John in today’s scripture. Imagine having Jesus say of you, “She was a lamp that burned and gave light.”
Elijah ~ It was a dark day in Israel’s history. King Ahab ruled along with his evil wife Jezebel, the Phoenician princess. Elijah came on the scene full of power and with a fiery passion for God. He performed miracles that left people speechless. He raised the dead, called down fire from heaven, rode on a fiery chariot, and challenged the evil priests of Baal to a showdown. We never read that he ever stopped to consider, “Is this possible?” He knew God and marched into supernatural realms where miracles are born.
Nate Saint ~ One of five missionaries speared by the Auca Indians in 1955. Each of the five men had guns to protect themselves but wouldn’t think of using them for their own safety while evangelizing. Initially, they delivered gifts to the Aucas by making drops from a plane. The Indians seemed warm and receptive. But when they went back and landed on a beach near their encampment, the Aucas came armed. They speared Nate first, then his four teammates. Many years later, the Auca who personally speared Nate Saint baptized Steve Saint, Nate’s son. When Mincaye was asked about that awful day, he told Steve Saint… “We immediately knew we did something bad because after we killed your father, the angels came and sang and stayed with him as he died. Then they took him up in a big celebration.”
Gertrude Hewitt ~ My mother. Though she died of cancer when I was only 30 years old, her life’s example influences me every day. She was quiet, loved to serve, and sang as she worked. In our small town of 1200, she took notice of who hadn’t been seen in a while. Inquiring about their welfare, she would have them sitting at our kitchen table or plan to take food to them. Our house may as well have been named, Gertrude’s Soup Kitchen. When our town’s alcoholic hadn’t been seen in weeks, she went to his house looking for him. Eventually getting inside, he was lying in bed, near death, and she sat with him til the end. If Gertrude knew you were alone, and hurting, she would be there. She had passion to show compassion.
The fire in my heart is stirred just from writing these stories, Lord. Let their passion spread to all who read this today. Amen