Would Jesus Smile?

My wife and I have recently returned from a stay in the Smokies. We visited Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Deal’s Gap (yes, we ‘slayed the Dragon”) and Cherokee, NC, among other places. The weather wasn’t as nice as we’d hoped but we were blessed to see some of God’s most beautiful creation on our first trip to that area. Thankfully, since we were on the bikes, it didn’t rain on us too much and He saw fit to keep us out of harm’s way, there and back.

We live in West Virginia, which most folks I think would consider (I have) part of the Bible-belt. After visiting the areas we did in Tennessee I saw that WV is a lot farther from the Bible-belt than I’d thought. Although it was sad to see and realize that, I was refreshed to see some things there, in TN, that aren’t as common here as I wish they were.In the 6 days or so we were in the area I saw more folks reverently asking blessings over meals than I have in a month or more here. I saw more tracts in places there in less than a week than I have seen here in WV in probably the last year (not counting my own).  Many stores displayed signs such as “Jesus is Lord” and almost every store seemed to carry Christian merchandise, too, including books, t-shirts and many other items.  Granted, some of this is probably to generate revenue, it was still nice to have the option to purchase it nonetheless.  The one show we attended, which wasn’t billed as ‘Christian’, played some gospel music and even said “God bless you” at the end!  It was a great thing to see and hear.  Oh, and there were no apologies for any of it or anything that seemed to be avoiding God or Jesus.  Talk about a difference, this was.  I thought, overall, this would probably make Jesus smile.

I also noticed some other things there, in their way of evangelism ‘efforts’.  I can’t tell you the number of restrooms I saw graffiti in, pretty much every one I’d say.  This bathroom graffiti was very different than what one normally sees though.  Instead of foul, profanity laced sayings (not that those weren’t there, too) I saw many things like “Jesus Loves You”, and God ‘with a heart drawn under it’ Loves You.  I must admit that this miffed me.  Was this an attempt at witnessing?  If it was, I think it was a very poorly executed one.  No matter the message or the intent, it is still vandalizing someone else’s property I think.  I don’t think this would have made Jesus smile.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]