My hubby preached a sermon recently and a certain quote he used has been stuck in the back of my mind and heart. Before we get to the quote, a little background story…
Charles Peace was a notorious burglar and murderer in the late 1800’s in England. Eventually he was captured, convicted, and given the death sentence. On the eve of his death, the prison chaplain came and spoke to him. After a discussion and a reading of verses, Charles had asked the chaplain if he really believed everything he was saying to him. The chaplain responded with a pathetic “Um, yes”. I can image Charles thinking for a few minutes before he said this:
“Sir i do not share your faith but if I did… If I believed what you say you believed, then although England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would crawl the length and breadth of it on hand and knee and think the pain worthwhile just to save a single soul from this eternal hell of which you speak. If I believed in this place as you say, my life would reflect it.”
Wow and OUCH! The words from this convicted man can’t seem to get out of my head and can’t stop penetrating my heart. Basically he’s saying that if you TRULY believe what you’re preaching, your life would reflect it. You would do ANYTHING, no matter what the cost, to get this message of salvation to even a single person.
After reading this, my stomach instantly turned. Charles’ words called me out on the carpet. Am I willing to go the distance, to get out of my comfort zone, to put myself in last place just to reach out with the love of Jesus? If it came down to it, would I be willing to crawl across broken glass from coast to coast just to show that love to even one person? Being totally transparent, my life is often reflecting a “no” to that question rather than a “yes”, and that disturbs me.
Jesus has been challenging the snot, yes SNOT, out of me with those words Charles spoke. Charles, someone who is not a Christ-follower, gets it. He understands that if we really believe what we say we do, then we would go the distance for others unhesitatingly. I want my life more than anything to reflect that.