Today’s Devotional Tidbit – April 4, 2007
The Twilight Zone
Imagine a world full of fear because space ships are landing in every country. This actually happened in 1962, at least on television. In case you missed it, the show was called the Twilight Zone. Those landing were called Kanamits. They were all 7 feet tall and looked like the guy called Jaws who was a featured villain in two James Bond films. Okay, it was the guy named Jaws, only years earlier. One thing for certain about this Kanamit, he did not belong. He was too large. He communicated telepathically. He was from outer space. Those were three big strikes against him. Wow! a baseball analogy and baseball season is just beginning. After landing, he went to the United Nations and gave them a book. Code breakers eventually deciphered the title, it was called “To Serve Man.” Wow, these guys were nice after all, the title proved it. These Kanamits began performing random acts of kindness, or so that’s what everyone believed. They helped eradicate famine throughout the world. They also brought world peace and did away with disease. Then they began an exchange program between citizens of earth and citizens of their planet.
The Kanamits did a lot of good but they did not belong among the earthlings at first. They weren’t going to be trusted if they just showed up and hung around or tried to conquer. They did good for us earthlings. That gave the Kanamits an amount of social capital to be spent in any way they wanted. They earned so much trust that earthlings even went to the Kanamit planet when they were offered an interplanetary cultural exchange program. Grasping for a Christian equivalent, I think about those who find no need for Christ and especially for Christians. Each day I search out such people. I don’t wait for them to come to me. My daily journeys take me to places where people may be antagonistic to religion but open to discussions about Jesus. I frequent places like bookstores, a college campus, sports bars, a pizza joint, an apartment complex, coffee shops, or recreation centers. Each day, I leave my planet and go to their planet, the planet of “Christianity is Irrelevant to Me!”
I have witnessed many Christians who are doing good and helping other people. I see that certain people who hate religion warm up to those Christians that do good. I’ve seen people that the good is done to, whether it’s being fed, offering help during terrible financial times, or loving someone through a family struggle, embrace Christ after Christians have helped. Doing good for people sometimes gives even the strangest looking beings an entry way into the lives of others. To those who are not Christians in our post-modern society, a Christian could be just as strange looking as a 7 foot Kanamit from outer space. We too have a book that could be titled, “To Serve Man.” After all, that’s what Jesus said he came to do. But here’s one last thing about that book from the Kanamits. The lead code breaker, after deciphering the title, had difficulty with the rest of the book; the lettering was different. He gave up and set off on his own cultural interplanetary exchange. He was on the stairway into the space ship when his assistant, who had kept working on the contents of the book, came running. She called out, “Dr. Chambers, the book, the book, ‘To Serve Man,’ it’s … a cookbook.”
As Christians, we need to go to people. We need to do good. Feeding the homeless may be similar to the Kanamits eradicating famine. Helping to create peace in families may be similar to the Kanamits rendering nuclear weapons meaningless. But unlike the Kanamits, let us not devour the people we reach out to in the name of Christ. In addition to meeting a lot of people who have never had a need for Christianity in their life; I also meet a lot of people who have been part of Christianity and have felt chewed on, gnawed at, or devoured and their bones spit back out. All this, done in the name of Jesus. What do you think? Let me know.