Thomas’ grave is located in India. It’s amazing that the churches he began there still thrive today two thousand years later. It’s amazing that had he denied Christ’s resurrection his life would have been salvaged. Instead, the spear sliced through him because he stood for Him. Our pastor asked that if Christ’s resurrection were nothing then our time today would be wasted. Thomas’ death would have been wasted. People underestimate the Bible.
As we walked down a street in Jerome a man with a guitar sang a song about Jesus’ resurrection. A small group of people laughed a few yards away from us and leaned over the cement barrier above the park to find the singer. They made jokes about the man and about Jesus. I smiled sadly.
Tony remarked, “We live in such a lost world.”
We meandered through Jerome along it’s tiny streets walking beyond the tourist areas and admiring the quaint mountain homes. For a little while, the people and the houses looked almost normal until we get back to the main area of town and paused in front of a dark bar. I recalled the words from my Fellowship Group how with the Holy Spirit you can sense darkness. We sat across from the bar and people watched for a little while. I sensed the darkness emanating from that place. The people loitered in front with too much time on their hands. One woman began to take photos of herself in front of the bar, on the phone, and while lighting a cigarette.
“I wonder if she has a Facebook account.” Tony muttered.
“Some people romanticize the rough life as if it’s one big adventure.” I whispered to Tony. “Reality is all it’s cracked up to be. The reality for those people can’t be pleasant.”
As we sat in the shade taking respite from the long walking tour of Jerome a new musician started playing in the park behind us. Earlier in the day this park had a man on a guitar singing about Jesus, and children were gathering eggs with their parents. Now a shaggy haired man grasped the microphone, made obscene gestures, and said, “Let’s get this @!$&@! Easter celebration on its way!”
“That’s our que.” Tony smiled tightly.
“Let’s go home.” I nod.
The music and gestures dispelled the innocence. It swept away the story book quaintness of Jerome. Fortune tellers, New Agers, alcoholics, and the lot fell on our minds. I saw the old man in my mind loitering in his beautiful garden just a few streets away and wondered how safe these streets were at night across from a place known for its rough crowd and the occasional knifing. It’s a place ministry could germinate a seed if the right people came here, but we realized it’s not for us.
I thought immediately of the twice-a-year attendees. Our pastor addressed them in his sermon. I wrote about them last Thursday. As a group we prayed for them last Wednesday. Some believe if their relatives attend church they are saved because of blood ties. That’s not true. I think of the people even now loitering in front of that dark place in Jerome and wonder why they run from God? Did they not hear that Christ forgives? They can find a new life away from that dark place, the dark thoughts in their mind, and wash away the past like a refreshing spring rain? The Bible is real. Those people in the Bible were real men; real men in every sense of the word. So what are you waiting for? Why do you still run?