The Touch of Jesus

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Often in our lives we come across white lies. These are lies told with good intent to help or protect others. They are usually contrasted with bad lies which are ugly and told with selfish intent.
I once met a rigid, honest lady who in formed me that she had never told a lie in her life. I thought but did not say: Lady, I bet your family all deserve crowns in heaven for living with you. It was true. I found she came on with truth, ready or not, in season or out of season, called for or not, like a lunatic with a razor blade. She literally slashed her way through other’s lives. Her excuse for all this was it was right to always tell the truth and follow the “law".  She called it “Christian morality.” Good Heavens.
 
My view was it was sadism or being purely mean masked as Christian morality. Unfortunately this happens a lot to morality. IT is used to hide perverse reasons that are purely selfish such as: People act moral to demonstrate how moral they are and also to be able to talk about how the neighbors aren’t. They go to Sunday worship not to worship but to show their new clothes off. Easter, particularly, has been the great excuse for this. You can go on and on.
 
Because so many people tend to do this, I have been forced many times to observe how the great difference between church people and non-church people is church people are meaner. The reason for this is they may go to church until the cows come home, but their morality has no touch of Jesus in it.
 
If you include companionship with Jesus Christ in your daily life, if you try to do God’s will regularly, your morality will have some touch of Jesus in it. It will show the heart of Jesus, the kindness, the graciousness, the compassion of Jesus, that I call the touch of Jesus.
 
The touch of Jesus usually means you are going to have some white lies in your life. You will not be a slave to rules either Christian or bureaucratic but you will know when to bend to show kindness, graciousness, compassion and concern.
 
Years ago I had to talk to a 13 year old boy about his father the boy had never known. I knew the father who in all honesty had no redeeming feature that I knew of. But I did not tell the boy that. I told him his father was a brave and good man. I also said his father would have wanted him to be positive and successful. I didn’t feel too bad about lying about what the father wished since I figured wherever the man was now, he had learned enough to feel that way. I am confident life after death includes a learning experience. And there is a life after death.
 
There it is. The first part was a pure lie. I took a big breath and appealed to grace as the final arbiter of sin. I did what Brother Martin advised, “Sin boldly.” If I had it to do over, I would do it again the same way. It did not seem to me to have the heart of Jesus in it to tell a thirteen year old boy a cruel and unnecessary truth. Maybe at 21 he could have taken it, but not a fatherless 13 years old boy.
 
Today there is a huge young man in a fine uniform who is an officer at a military base away from here. He is a brave man and good one. 1 noticed when I visited him last he had a picture of the father he never knew on his desk. I think the boy’s father off in the spirit world is pleased. I know I am.
 
From this experience but not it alone, I am sure it is sometimes right to do a wrong thing for the right reason. It is far better than doing nothing.
 
I often think of those with the touch of Jesus who are telling white lies and bending rules for good reasons. There are gallant husbands of wives now older still telling them they look exactly the same. There are women telling little ones how big they are so the kids will beam. There are people all over showing kindness, graciousness, concern and even plain good manners who help make things more pleasant for everyone. These are workers for heavenly harmony on earth. They usually are bending the rules to do so.
 
Today we are in an age of dead churches, blind laws and too many of them,and deadening bureaucracies where books of pettifogging rules are applied blindly and carelessly. We have litigious courts where seemingly everybody has somebody to sue. There is a criminal justice- penal system that has more people in jail than are in Holland. It has an enormous budget and is a total failure. Also many school systems exist in abject intellectual and social ruins. The one rule the employees of these failures all seem to share is: cover yourself first. The failures of these institutions are crushing people’s spirits everywhere.
 
To solve these problems little is ever done but to throw money at them. As usual the answer of materialists to their failures is more empty materialism. This country has problems money can’t solve. I don’t know what can solve all the problems but I know the situations can be alleviated by the touch of Jesus among some of those serving and those served.
 
The touch of Jesus can best be described as the civilized heart that comes from a contact with the spirit presence that is God. It is very similar to the “humanitas” the poet, Dante, said was the great humanizing, Iifting contribution of religion to raw civilization. Having it is the difference between having the mean moral rules of a dead faith and a living, flaming compassionate, daring, truly concerned and shining religious morality that can raise the tone of things.
 
To have the touch of Jesus in your religious morality ought to be the spiritual goal of every Christian. It will come from daily companionship with God. Then your morality, unlike the dead bells of the cracked and broken secular moralities that failed, will ring out and ring true.
 

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Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.

 

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