"a couple of real Jesus freaks!"

Garnerville, NY

Last night we stopped at a church that I had visited three years ago, when I had walked to New York from Chicago. And we were able to join in their bible study and meet people (one young guy even remembered me before I introduced myself). When we walked in, one woman said with a smile, "A couple of real Jesus freaks!"

The study was on "offense," how to deal with being offended by others, and how to avoid giving offense, or causing others to stumble in their faith. I mentioned that one of the biggest causes of offense is when we Christians don't live out our faith, when we have words and worship but not the kind of love that Jesus demonstrated. We didn't have time to go into the other aspect of offense: The offense of the cross, the way Jesus caused scandal by his way of accepting and living among society's outsiders, his nonviolence, his rejection of power and wealth, his self-sacrificing love. It's hard to accept (and even harder to follow). But, as Jesus said, "Blessed is he who takes no offense at me." (Lk 7.23)

After the bible study we talked with several people and enjoyed them enjoying one another. We were invited to sleep in the small house they use as an activity center. Then one of the young women went out and bought a pizza for us! And I remembered one of the prayers that was said for us, that no snakes or ticks would hurt us, that if they tried to bite us they would fall off "like teflon."