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Prophetic Endurance

The Evangelist


When God calls a prophet, he isn't asking whether you agree. Even the prophet doesn't have to agree with his word to the people. But throughout history God hasn't been 'nice'. In fact nice is a term I generally use to describe witchcraft. It was C.S. Lewis who said that 'nice' was across the chessboard from 'beautiful and true.' I like to think that this is the essence of the true prophetic. A prophet may not be saying to us what we would like to hear, but we recognize that it is in the 'beautiful and true' category. If only the speaker actually spoke words with the beauty of the poets. If only Isaiah lived in a palace. Does that make for more beautiful prophetic words? It seems to be the case (he did live in a palace). You could live in a mansion, be it God's will to take absolute care of you, and give eloquent words in scrolls.

Ezekiel was a prophet called by God in the Old Testament, living in Old Israel. He was asked to put a hole in the wall as a symbol to the people of Israel. How destructive, you must think. Nobody would be allowed to get away with that in the modern world. Using signs of destruction as analogies: of all the nerve. But I am a nervy person. And I personally witnessed my husband put a hole in the wall. (I didn't see it as a prophetic word at the time.) It later come to me that I may be his dead wife, come to think of it.


Whenever people are "nice" to me, at the expense of my personhood, they are suspect. I would much rather hear the truth about what Jesus thinks of me. And this is the main distinction. Jesus wants a prophetic person to have a message of what God thinks of us. It is a redemptive message. it is that we too can be saved and restored through him. A nice person is as saccharin. If they are any better than that they are aspartame. This substance has grown increasingly suspect to parents as a good idea to consume (They should consider that about sugar also.). But so is nice. What a nice person isn't telling you, is that what I really think of you is . . .! That is a rather scary thought. We could literally control people by being condescending and telling them what we really think of them, or not.


The message of The Pilgrim's Progress (written in 1678 by John Bunyan) is one adopted by Presbyterians as literally Gospel. It was such a popular book in its day, that in the latter 1800's they did a survey of teenagers, and asked what their favourite book was. Their first favourite was The Pilgrim's Progress (this would be akin to saying the Bible, as good children ought). Their second favourite book was Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. This was denoted in the history of the author.

Albeit somewhat religious, The Little Pilgrim's Progress (a modern day version) was one of my favourite books too as a child. I identified with the character of Evangelist, in that he represented taking the gospel to those looking for the path. He shows them the way. Jesus showed us the way once; there are still martyrs today who identify as people of the way. 


I still do see myself with a scroll in hand. Sometimes in the dark; sometimes in the night. Definitely with an unreached, or unidentified person in mind. There is a gate. The shepherdess sees us safely into the fold even at night's turning. We are safe now that we are her sheep. She lights her fire. She sits beside it, playing her low wooden flute through the night's hours. If even a bear or werewolf were to attack she would defend her flock. She is rustic and strong; her long coarse hair is tied back under her cape. No one doubts her safety and her allegiance to them. She will lead them, and she will be there at the end of the day. 

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Quiet Time With Sea