The Walking Dead and You and Me
Tangy sweet and sour sauce simmers and floats fragrant on the air. Mark is making supper tonight as I catch up on emails and computer work. Five-year old Daniel battles plastic robots behind me while picking up tan chess pieces. Morgan tiptoes up for snacks before being shooed away with the reassurance that supper will be done shortly. A golden sun sinks low on the horizon to my right, illuminating a banana palm’s tiny branches and multiple cobwebs on the stand beside me.
My suitcase and backpack slump in a corner, still packed from this weekend’s second women’s retreat. Since yesterday afternoon, I have been enjoying family after my four-day absence and telling stories of God’s goodness.
In my Bible today, I read the story of a man who lived in the tombs. Like a scene from the Walking Dead or any horror film, this desperate man with demonic strength, harmed himself and others so much that the townspeople banished him outside the city. Living in caves where the dead were buried, he screamed, moaned, and cut himself.
When Jesus arrived in the area, the evil spirits in this broken man recognized the Creator of the world instantly. “What do you want with us?” they spewed, cowering and pleading. Authoritatively and fueled by compassion, Jesus ordered the demons out of the man. They left dramatically.
When the townspeople heard what had happened, they rushed up the hill to see. Before them was the familiar ghoulish man they were used to seeing, except that now he stood there, sober, in his right mind, and cleanly dressed. The difference was dramatic and obvious.
Despite this wild miracle, though, the townspeople were afraid of Jesus and urged him to leave town. Politely, Jesus complied. As Jesus was leaving, the formerly demon-possessed man chased after him. “Take me with you,” he asked.
“Go home to your family,” Jesus replied, “and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
For some of us, we have family and friends who aren’t interested in interacting with the God of the Universe yet. But they are watching us, watching you. You and I, we get to show the difference that Jesus has made in our lives.
Pray that God would change us daily, making us look more and more like him. Then, we are to “Go home and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.”
The townspeople had the Creator of the Universe in their town, on their farmland. They weren’t interested in him or his message.
But when the broken, messed up man from the tombs walked back into town and started talking, it grabbed everyone’s attention. Even people from the ten nearby cities were riveted. And the result? “All the people were amazed.”