Chris and the 'girl'
Chris and I were in a Lowe's store - which is a home improvement store selling tools and lumber, lighting and appliances and more - and our usual custom is for him to grab the handle of a cart (buggy) as he sits in his wheelchair, and then I go to the front of the cart (buggy) and pull it and him. We look like a 3-part train rolling down the aisles and have been known to clear off shelves by going too wide around corners as Chris' arm brushes products off the shelf. (see picture)
This particular day we rounded the corner to find a man and woman of at least 75 years of age standing where Chris' wheelchair was about to roll. He saw them as he rounded the corner and called out to the woman, "Watch out girl, here I come, excuse me!"
They looked up in time and as he passed he said, "Excuse me girl, good job, thank you!" as we missed them by inches. It all happened at a slow walking speed, but to Chris, he was a race car driver.
Having completed our business some minutes later, we went to the Walmart next door, Barb having saved some items on a grocery list for Chris and I to get. As we rounded a corner once again we nearly ran into this couple, and again Chris called out to the woman, "Watch out girl! Here I come!" At that point the husband turned to greet Chris:
"Didn't we see you next door young man?" And turning to me said, "You're doing a good thing sir, a real good thing." as he put out his hand to shake mine. "He's a fine young man. My wife hasn't been called 'girl' for a long time, and it made us laugh - made our day! Thank you." Chris put out his hand upon seeing me shaking the man's hand, asking, "Can I shake your hand sir?"
Having shaken his hand Chris said, "Thank you sir, we have to go now, c'mon daddy race car, let's go!" as he made a sound like a race car starting out from the pit area, and we rolled on. I was once again astonished that Chris had blessed someone without him knowing it, and how graciously this couple reacted to Chris, each respecting the other; Chris by addressing them as politely as he knew, and them by acknowledging his respectful and good heart.
I've been talking...
...about how having the fear of God, that deep respect and reverential fear of Him, starts with a revelation of Him. Chris had the umbilical cord around his neck in a slip knot when he was being born, which has left him at about a 4 year old level mentally, though at this writing he is nearly 36 years old.
Yet he has had more of a revelation of God than most 'normal' believers. One day he came crawling down the hall (he can support his weight on his feet but cannot walk) saying, "Dad! Dad! Know what Jesus told me?!" I replied, "No Chris, what did He say?" "He said one day He's going to walk through the mountains with me, Yep, that's what He said, Yahoo! That's what He said! Yep, He's going to walk through the mountains with me!" as he laughed and chuckled to himself.
I've had visitations with the Lord where Chris has been also present - once when Chris and I were attending a Christian concert and the Lord came and stood on the left of my chair and taught me for several minutes about healing, while Chris was seated in his wheelchair on my right. Yet at no time in any visitation since that first one in April of 1986, has the Lord at any time said anything about healing him.
Chris' faith in contrast to mine, is to wait until he gets to heaven, when he can then walk with Jesus. He says "When I get to heaven I'm going to run" and things like that. That's where his faith is, and Jesus has never given any indication He would work contrary to his faith. Chris has a deep and profound respect for the Lord in a child-like simplicity borne of revelation. He is God, Chris is not. But He is also his friend. Simple.
With every ambulance racing by, with every fire truck that passes us as it races to an emergency, with every person who seems sad or lonely or some other condition he notices, Chris' first response is to grab my hand and say "We better pray", and we do. His best friend at the group home is a young lady, the daughter of a missionary couple, and he comforts her when she is upset: "It's okay Frankie, Jesus is with us, it's okay, let me pray for you."
Respect for others is the natural result of a revelation of God, for included in the fear of God is a respect for those He created in His image and likeness.
By contrast: Related to lacking the fear of God is a lack of accountability to one another and Him, the sense of a loose informality concerning the things of God, and self-deception that rationalizes away sin or worldliness in one's life, church, or nation.
The 'Sonic' lady
Chris and I were in the drive-thru lane at a local fast food restaurant called Sonic. They are patterned after the classic American drive-in of the 1950's - you drive into a space that has a menu board, and after pushing a button, someone inside takes your order, and a person called a 'car hop' who at least in our area is sometimes on roller skates, brings it out to you a few minutes later. But this particular Sonic also had a drive-thru lane, and we were waiting at the window for our order.
As we waited I noticed a customer in a car in front of us had pulled up to the 2 trash containers at the end of the property just before exiting onto the street. Being a drive-in means you eat your food in the car, so those containers are for customers as a courtesy to throw out the trash from their meal before they drive away.
But the young lady ahead of us pulled up to the trash cans, and rather than just tossing items from her meal into a can, she parked the car, got out, and proceeded to empty all the trash of every variety from her back seat, back floor area, and wherever else in the car she could find, filling 1 whole trash container with her non-restaurant trash.
As I watched I thought to myself, "She has no understanding why those are placed there, or if she does, she doesn't care. Where is the respect for right and wrong? She clearly doesn't have the fear of God. I wonder if she is a believer? Why didn't she know, or care to respect, the obvious reason for those trash receptacles? Why did she have no internal discipline to restrain her from abusing the purpose of them?"
Everywhere we look we see no respect for simple rules like the above, no respect for human life. Whether it is one nation advancing across another's borders failing to respect their sovereignty, or ISIS killing any Muslim or 'infidel' that doesn't believe as they do, there is no fear of God in much of the world.
And it is a good thing I'm running out of room or I'd talk of church splits over the color of carpet, pastors from the pulpit calling people who have left their church as being under the influence or filled with the devil, to Christian leaders having affairs, divorces, waiting 90 days after their new marriage to their secretary or worship leader, and then suddenly all is well...wow, where is the fear of God among believers?
The answer is - it requires a personal walk with God to have a revelation of Him as God. And that must be a walk in which the person wants nothing in return - they are just caught up in loving God for God's sake. Yet even Romans 1 says for those willing to have a humble and honest heart, even the attributes of Him can been in creation, the most basic revelation of Him. When I see a lover of nature who also acknowledges He is the Creator, I think they are closer to the kingdom of God than many in the pews and pulpits.
God is not a mind, that you can think up a fear of God. He is a Spirit, a Holy One at that, and must therefore be known in the human spirit. That is where God is revealed, that is where the reverential respect and honor of Him and all He has created, is formed.
Next week a new subject sort of related to this topic, and relevant to this month - the Rapture Mentality...stay tuned. Until then,