MAJOR Disclaimer!!! This could almost be characterized as a chain email/Facebook story that ends with “send this to 10 people (or “like”) unless you’re ashamed of Jesus, in which case He will be ashamed of you – but send it and you will be planting a seed of faith and God will be compelled to make you rich.” But its NOT that! It’s just a really great story that makes a profound point. OK? OK. But send me $10 of seed faith money anyway (humor – keep your money).
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
(Psalm 139:1-3 ESV)
I heard a story about a bitter old atheist that speaks to Psalm 139. It’s one of my favorites.
He HATED the idea of God and had no use for ridiculous folks who believed in God. He spent his life denying and declaring his disgust about the idea of God. Anyone who would dare talk about God would be ridiculed.
One day he had to go to the hospital for surgery. The surgery went well, but he was going to be there for a bit.
People began to visit. Nurses came and went. And very quickly he grew sick and tired of all the “God bless you” and “I’ll pray for you” comments. He decided to take action.
In a fit of frustration he told the nurse to get him a piece of paper and Sharpie. He quickly wrote out in large angry letters “God is nowhere!” You can see it here. I stole it from the old goat. “God is nowhere.” He asked the nurse quickly bring him some tape! She did.
He slapped the piece of paper on the wall right behind his head. Anyone who walked in the room would see this big sign of angry atheism right above his head – like some surly square halo. Surely he would have some peace from all the dimwitted simpletons spouting their religious ignorance!
“Later that very day…” It always happens that way in stories doesn’t it? Well that’s how it happened here.
Later that very day…his little granddaughter – about 6 – came to see him. For the story to make sense, you need to know that she was extremely cute, no paste eater*, and the apple of his eye. Where he had been somewhat stern as a father and was a pretty tough old bird, his granddaughter had him wrapped around her finger.
So in she comes – running into the hospital room and around the foot of the bed yelling “Grandpa, Grandpa, Grandpa!” She sees Grandpa and the big sign above his head and she STOPS.
Her big blue eyes get as wide as saucers – she stares at the sign. She begins to sound out the letters – God is… God is…God is…she stammers a little bit, stutters a little bit, then excitedly bursts out “I know this! I know this! We learned this in Sunday School last week – God. Is. Now. HERE! God is now HERE! GOD IS NOW HERE!”
At the 6 year old’s simple and enthusiastic declaration, the old man’s heart melted and he began to weep and haltingly confessed to the little girl “yes, yes, yes cupcake – God is now here. He. Most. Definitely. Is. ” The way I heard the story, that moment was the beginning of a journey that led the man to Christ.
God. Is. Now. Here.
Why not try to live today, like He. Really. Is.
*Paste-eater: kid who develops a fondness for the taste of paste. Of lower intellect. Would not be uncommon for same child to enjoy shooting spit balls and spend years in detention.