— For the week of January 23, 2011 —

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky:
so was it when my life began;
so is it now I am a man;
so be it when I shall grow old,
or let me die!
— William Wordsworth

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 2:5

In his book, Carpe Diem, Tony Campolo relates the story of Ralph, a friend of his from the 1960's, whom he met while working in the fair housing movement. Though Ralph came from a Quaker background, he was not a born-again Christian. He didn't mind working with those who were, however.

While Ralph worked in the name of social justice, Tony and his fellow Christians worked in the name of Jesus. Ralph had an attitude to make people comfortable; the Christians had an attitude to show the eternal love and salvation of Jesus.

"The sense of unity we evangelicals felt with Ralph as we worked with him and followed his wise counsel soon became both deep and dynamic. As we struggled with issues, tried to heal one another's wounds, and sought spiritual guidance in establishing strategies for action, little by little Ralph became infected with our faith," Campolo writes.

Years later, Tony and Ralph met again, this time in a church where Ralph now worshipped. Ralph was as active as ever with the social concerns of his community, but now he sought to help others with an attitude to show the lost the reality of God.

Serve our fellowman as Jesus served, and everyone who comes in contact with you will have an encounter with God, just as Ralph did.

Taken from The Minister's Little Devotional Book.
Copyright © 1997 by H.B. London Jr. and Stan Toler.
Used by permission of RiverOak Publishing, Tulsa, Okla.
All rights reserved.