Safe Surrender

Safe Surrender

Sunday, September 27, 2009
| Psalm 124

When law-enforcement officials developed a program that encouraged nonviolent fugitives to turn themselves in, they asked local churches if they’d be willing to offer a place of safe surrender.

This happened somewhere at some time; we just don’t know when or where:

A man, down on his luck, wandered into a church full of well-heeled congregants who were worshiping in the stiff, solemn manner that suited them.

But this guy seemed not to notice. The service was evidently a source of comfort and blessing. He became so enthusiastic that at one point he shouted out, “Amen!” People sort of glanced around.

Later, he let loose with a “Praise Jesus!” More stares followed, and a low, murmuring hum could be heard.

And then, beaming, our enthusiastic friend shouted, “Thank you, Lord!”

At this point, an usher padded down the carpeted aisle. He tapped the fellow on the shoulder and, leaning over, whispered into the blessed man’s ear: “You’ll have to be quiet, sir. You’re disturbing the others.”

Surprised, the man looked up, smiling, and said, “But I’ve got religion!”

“Well, you didn’t get it here,” the usher said, sharply. “So hush up!”

Let’s be honest. One of the unfortunate stereotypes often...

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