Let's start by sharing a video:
First I have to quiet the nagging voice of my culltour-hardened carnal
mind that's whispering, "It's all staged, set-up and all. Very well
done, but staged."
Does that make a difference? Does that undo the
Yes, it would. So, let's follow the rules of love set
forth in I Cor. 13, in particular, "charity believes all things." So, what we just saw was, indeed, a really cool blessing.
I have spent some times, in a wide variety of circumstances, ministering to the whole spectrum of "the homeless," from indigents determined to bum their way, to the uninstitutionalized mentally disturbed, to folks displaced by hurricane, and migrant workers stranded by the same storm. Yeshua was right. There will always be a need for this kind of service.
Decades ago, I was involved with a coffeehouse ministry which grew into a food and clothing bank hosting two free meals a week for, at times, upwards of 300 "street people." As part of this, and in addition to our coffehouse entertainment, we put on gospel concerts in public parks. (Yes, and we didn't have to file any forms or pay any fees. Most times they even turned on the power for us!)
Recently (at my wife's urging, of course) I have been "back in touch" electronically with some friends from those days. Some of these renewed contacts have been discouraging and sad. Others have been the opposite, and have felt, in fact, like actual "fellow-ship."
Fellowship, to my mind, is more than getting together and having a nice time sharing in something. It speaks of a depth of common experience and feeling that is the lasting bond among veterans of anything. Those with whom I have shared experiences of testing are particularly dear in my mind, even if the tests were, in themselves, nothing major.
A young, long-haired brother, who also played and sang at the coffeehouse and concerts, was helping me put together a print shop, and we had acquired an old offset press and, with the help of an elder brother, reconditioned it.
I got up exhausted one morning from a night of violent vomiting and stumbled into the print shop to find my young friend with the press running, testing the vacuum on the steel feeding prongs with his finger. "Mark," I said, "don't do that! It could suck your finger right in there."
"That's the problem." said Mark. "It won't pick anything up."
"Let me see," I said, touching the middle finger of my left hand onto the tip of the prong.
The machine hungrily seized my finger and stuffed it between two steel rollers where a sheet of paper would just fit. Mark had his hand on the switch, so it didn't go in very far; but it was caught firmly.
"Get help," I suggested, and the entertainment began.
Standing at the press I watched Mark dash out the door and turn left. Moments later, he crossed in front of the door again, farther away, running in the other direction. A few seconds later, farther away, he crossed my narrow field of view again and I wondered what someone coming into the shop right then would have thought to see me, finger caught in a machine, doubled over laughing helplessly.
The memory of that cartoon and its hilarious sincerity have made me laugh aloud many times over the years.
If Mark Stone had not put his hand on that switch, I might have a mangled hand to this day.
He shared the above video, and shares parts of my testimony to this day. That's fellowship.
Now, some Blimey Cow: