Thursday, May 11, 2006

I See Dead People

How many movies can you identify from a phrase?

“Truth, you want truth? You can’t handle the truth.”

“Look up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s ….!

“I am the patron saint of mediocrity?

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

I was reminded of great movie lines from listening to sermon this past week when the pastor said, “I see dead people. I see them all the time.”

Of course that line was from the movie the “Sixth Sense,” the little boy who saw the dead walking around, and who helped Bruce Willis understand that he, indeed, was dead.

The pastor made a wonderful application using that phrase, suggesting that it would be a great to have a t-shirt with the words printed on it, “I see dead people.” It certainly would be a conversation starter. I’m not big on T-shirt evangelism, but that is one that I might embrace, if I was a visiting professor at a secular university.

In reality, we are all dead-men walking. No one knows the time of our demise, but each day we not only live, but we are in the process of dying. Today the cancer (or heart disease, diabetes, etc.) may not yet be detected in my body, but somewhere, sometime, the inevitable will be revealed. Of course, there are other dynamics in this world that may determine my end, like war, accident or maybe the pandemic bird flu. Morbid, I agree, but reality, nevertheless.

If you feel good physically and don’t know you’re sick you’re probably feeling pretty good. We go out to dinner, make plans for weekend fun and even plan toward retirement. Yeah, we know we will die some day, but the doctor has given us a clean bill of health so we’re not thinking about the reality that each second we go further into physical decay, one second closer to eternity.

Beyond than physical, I see the spiritually dead. People, young and old, of every nation are physically able but spiritually dead. Like their physical condition, people may be moral, even religious. They are not murderers, thieves and they even try to help people in their community. Some go to the temple or church everyday to pray, they may even give money to the poor. And yet, with all that seemingly healthy spirituality (the new term today…"I'm not religious, but I am spiritual") they are in reality dead.

“There is a way that seems right to man,” the ancient preacher said, “but his way leads to death.” Most people think that that way they are following, from a religion to good works, will lead them to God, but not all roads lead to heaven. For the followers of Christ we were dead, yet we are alive.

Why do I do what I do, living overseas away from family to teach others how to present the message of Christ and salvation? It’s because I see dead people. I see them all the time.