Friday, March 31, 2006

Ninjas for the Kingdom

Dr. Phil ran a show last year called, “Am I Normal?” Thousands of people had written him to ask if a habit, behavior, or opinion of theirs was socially acceptable. Either they had never revealed this secret or people had been questioning them for years. They sought the validation of Dr. Phil to see if they passed the normal test. If I remember correctly, one guest on the show counted everything obsessively. Someone else was addicted to plastic surgery. Another woman dressed up her dog on a regular basis.

I discovered that we all develop strange habits throughout our lives. Many of them are unknown even to the closest people in our lives. Confession or scrupulous observations are the only means of learning of these hidden behaviors. Traveling alone to speak at conferences forced some of my “secret habits” to become more obvious.

When I enter a hotel room, my first priority is messing up the bed. It drives me crazy for the room to seem so sterile. Next, I unpack items packed specifically to make me feel at home. Using my own shampoo, coffee, and pillow help me feel as if the traveling is more personal.

Another regular traveler revealed his “secret habit” when entering the hotel room. He immediately opens the drawer of the nightstand in search of the Bible. His personal quest is finding a hotel that the Gideons overlooked. The Gideons win the secret battle every time!

How can a group of people make such a magnificent impact on the world without us seeing them in action?
After researching the Gideons, the facts of their organization and mission seem even more impressive. They state, “We are placing and distributing more than 1 million copies of the Word of God, at no cost, every 7 days in these areas” (hotels and motels, hospitals, nursing homes, and domestic violence shelters; schools, colleges, and universities; the military, law enforcement personnel, firefighters , and EMTs; prisons and jails).

If the Gideons are placing 52 million Bibles a year in public places, how have I never seen it? When I polled some friends over dinner, they never saw it either. In fact, I only know one person who has. I learned that this friend was a Gideon himself! The friend on a mission to find the Bible-less motel refers to the Gideons as “the ninjas of Christendom.” They are infiltrating lonely places and secretly leaving the Word of God for unknown friends to discover.
A few other friends in my life are ninjas for the Kingdom of God. One friend regularly eats dinner alone at the Waffle House so she can be there for a stranger who might need to talk. A friend from high school invites a young girl over for a slumber party on the weekends to give a single mother a night off. A few missionaries in the second and third world continue their mission because of the hidden generosity of an elderly woman in our community. That same dear woman lifts me in prayer each morning before the sun rises; I thank God that I have her on my side.

Jesus told us that these undercover people are blessed. In the Beatitudes, his first and most famous sermon, He tells that “blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Because of their lives, many others see God as well.

Thank you, Gideons, whoever you are. Thank you for providing Bibles and giving them to people who need to read the story of God. Thank you to all the rest of you seeking to expand the Kingdom of God and not leave any fingerprints.


Blogger Kevin said...

you need to publish this entry somewhere in the physical realm-i'm talking ink on paper.
very nice.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

thanks, kevin. actually, this is one of my rockdale citizen articles. i run them here on the blog to see how it goes over. :) glad to know that you are reading the blog, though. welcome, my friend.

1:05 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

great article, makes me want to be a Christian Ninja

6:01 AM  

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