BY: SCOTT CARPENTER
“In Africa today” the newscaster said, “The white supremacist group, “The army of God” attacked a school filled with black children, two children were killed, while another thirty were injured.” The sound of the T.V. blared at the stranger as he looked in silent horror at what was on the screen. Scenes of tiny children being carried off in stretchers brought tears to his eyes. The stranger turned off the T.V. with a sob that came from the deepest place in his heart, “all of this murdering, in the name of God” he thought. The silence that came was a welcome release.
For a week now, the stranger had visited this place. Every sunrise brought new horrors. The desire to leave was very strong, but he could not leave. He had work to do. “Tomorrow will be a new day,” he thought, and with the hope of a better day, he slept.
As the sun began to rise the stranger opened his eyes to the sound of arguing. He walked over to the window and saw a street preacher holding a sign that read “Repent now before God throws you in hell”. The street preacher was joined by twenty or thirty people standing outside an abortion clinic. Most of them were holding various signs, “God is love”, or “Jesus is coming soon” seemed to be the most popular. The stranger watched as what appeared to be a fifteen or sixteen-year-old girl slowly approached the clinic. She looked nervously toward the group of protesters, hoping they would ignore her. As she walked through the door of the clinic the street preacher began a chant of “Murderer”. Tears dripped down the young girls face as the rest of the protesters joined in.
The decision had not been easy for her. Raped by 10 gang members one night as she returned from a school dance, she had nearly lost her life. After the gang finished with her, they slit her throat and left her for dead. Found by a passing policeman a few minutes later, she was in a coma for two months before she awoke. Then as the police began to ask her questions about that horrible night, she remembered the various faces of the gang members, her last sight before she mercifully blacked out. When the nurse told her that she was pregnant, the girl screamed in terror. As the room began to spin, she wondered which one of the rapists was the father. Breaking the news to her family was even harder than she imagined. As she told her father of her pregnancy she saw his eyes go blank. She could see all of his hopes for his little girl disappear in an instant. As her father walked out of the room, she began to cry. Now, on top of everything else, she had ruined all her fathers’ plans for her.
These were her thoughts that passed through her mind as the nurse said, “OK dear, we’re finished now, you can go.” As she dressed she wondered, “God, am I really a murderer?” The thought brought a chill to her bones.
The stranger left his room and walked across the street to the clinic. He knew he would be needed. As the young girl came out the protesters again took up their chant. “Murderer”, “Murderer”, “You’ll burn in hell for this you Jezebel”, “God hates your kind”. The young girl was overwhelmed by all the noise. The memory of her terrible ordeal came rushing back to her memory. What had she done to deserve being raped by an entire gang? Would God burn her forever for something she could not help? Did God really hate her? The street preacher came toward her with anger in his eyes and as he pointed his finger in her face his voice seemed to explode all around her. “God will get you for this” he screamed, “God will surely get revenge on you for your murder of that baby,” “You’ll deserve it too.” Fear gripped her heart as the crowd of protesters waved their signs wildly in support of the street preacher, and as he backed her into a corner she wished she had died that night. Bleeding to death seemed almost merciful to this.
The stranger looked on in sadness. He looked once more at the signs the protesters were carrying. “God is Love”. The stranger began to weep as he walked into the middle of the crowd and made his way to the street preacher. “Leave her alone” he said. His voice was soft yet powerful. The street preacher recognized authority when he heard it. As he backed away he wondered, “Who is this?” “God will surely punish him for this intrusion”, “Doesn’t he know I am doing Gods work?”
The stranger reached out his hands toward the young girl. The girl looked at him and somehow his appearance made her feel peaceful. His eyes seemed to have a unique sparkle, almost like fire. She reached out and took his hand, it was the hand of a father, It was if she had known him all of her life.
“Kyra”. The girl shook herself out of her Tran fixation of the stranger, He had spoken her name! How did he know that? Who was he? “I know what happened to you that night” he said, “And I do not condemn you for what you have done”. Kyra felt waves of electricity flow through her entire body as he spoke. Her eyes filled with tears of joy, and she didn’t know why. She didn’t care, she just cried. The emotions and heartbreak that before had weighed so heavenly on her seemed to fade away. Peace flooded her spirit. She felt cleansed. The street preacher looked on with amusement, “You’ll still burn in hell for this” he shouted. He looked around at the crowd of protesters for support but found none. All eyes seemed transfixed upon this stranger. “John” the stranger spoke softly. “Leave this child alone, you do not know what she has endured”. “You only know anger and rage toward everyone who you believe that God hates.” “All you have known throughout your ministry has been condemnation toward others, the hate in your heart has caused you to turn many away from the Father.”
John was shocked. Who was this ungodly man speaking these accusations at him, and how did he know his name?
The stranger looked at the crowd of protesters. They were shocked at what was happening. “Go to your homes” he said. “Go and learn of Love, learn of Joy, learn of Meekness, then you will know the true nature of your heavenly Father.” “Which one of you was called to carry signs of hatred?” “Did not God call you to Love one another?” “Your signs read that God is love, yet you show no love to anyone not like yourselves, only hate. Your leaders teach you that God does not care for the castaways of this world. You teachers are blind and you follow them into darkness. Now go and learn of Love!” The crowd slowly dispersed, the strangers words seemed to burn into their very souls. It was as if God himself had spoken. Kyra looked at the stranger as he stood in front of her accusers. She no longer cared about anything else in the world. She only wanted to remain in his presence. As she looked into his eyes, for an instant his appearance changed before her. No longer was he a poorly dressed stranger, His face shone like the sun, his radiance was brilliant, only his eyes were the same, as if they were fire. Then his appearance changed again before her. Now he was the same poor dressed stranger. Kyra bowed before him. She now knew who this man was. And as she worshiped him she felt his hand touch her brow. “Your sins are forgiven dear child,” he said.
John looked on in disbelief, “Who are you to forgive anyone’s sins” he cried, “only God can forgive sin.”
Ignoring the street preacher Kyra slowly got up from the strangers feet and she smiled. Her life was truly just beginning, and now she knew that all would be well. As she walked toward home, she seemed to hear choirs of Angels sing. She finally was at peace. The stranger watched as Kyra walked away. A smile came across his lips, then a laugh, because her knew her life would now take a dramatic change. Kyra was destined to grow up and become one of the greatest teachers the world has ever known. Miracles would happen at her fingertips that no one had seen since the apostles had died. Kyra’s destiny was to be a messenger. There had been only two like her before, Elijah had been the first. Then his same spirit rested upon another called the John the Baptist. Both of them had announced the coming of the savior. Kyra would now be the final messenger, she would tell the world of the love of God, just before he came to usher his children into his kingdom.
As the stranger thought of these things joy filled his heart. He could not after all wait until he heard the command, “Son, Go and get my children.” It was what he had waited for. It was what he died for. The stranger walked toward John and knelt down beside him. He placed his hand upon Johns shoulders and looked into his eyes. “I love you John”, he said. “Return unto me”. Then he got up and disappeared into the distance. John felt his heart grip with fear. In that moment he understood what had just happened, and who had just touched him. “JESUS” he cried, “JESUS”, forgive me, I didn’t know it was you.
The stranger turned around and John felt electricity flow through his body. Peace that he had not known before filled his being as the stranger spoke. “You are forgiven John, now go and tell this to all you see, In as much as you have done this to the least of these my children, you have done to me. Tell the world, “The above story of course is a story of fiction, but with a definite message. For as long as I can remember Christians have been taught that God doesn’t love certain kinds of people, either due to what religion that person may practice or maybe because of something a person has done or the lifestyle that person may live. This thinking does not come from God. In truth it is a fear tactic, created by man through the shield of religion to keep out those who may be different and also to keep those who do fall under the hypnotic trance of this teaching under the protective custody of a church or specific teacher.
The same teachers will read and often quote from the bible yet do not see the simplistic message that the one we have named the Christ actually taught. This Christ hung out with prostitutes and went to wedding feasts where the wine flowed freely for days. He boldly told the religious leaders of his day that God could care less about ritualistic lifestyles and sacrifices. He made the unique claim that God was instead interested in the heart of mankind. He attracted a group of followers that most likely would not be allowed to enter most churches today. He laughed and cried throughout the experiences he learned from them and opened understanding for anyone willing to listen. As his fame grew the religious leaders knew that if he was allowed to continue their control of the people would fall away. He became a threat to the establishment of religion, and it was then that they decided to murder him. Before long their plans fell into place and this man was put to death by crucifixion.
Over 2,000 years have passed since this murder occurred. It is ironic that he was killed in the name of God because the very establishment that is called by his name has went to war many times since, all in his name. Crusades were fought in the middle ages. Innocent men, women and children died during the great inquisition, all in the name of this one man who was so against religion harming others in the name of God.
It’s not really hard to understand then how that after 2,000 years of religious bigotry that we sometimes are so fast to condemn anyone not like ourselves. How can anyone believe that God is the Father of all spirits (Hebrews 12:9) and not understand that this must mean that all of mankind is loved equally and without any preference to one group or another? How can anyone calling himself or herself after the name of Christ turn someone away because they are different when he had such followers as Mary Magdalene (a prostitute) or Simon Magus (a magician)?
Jesus taught his followers this simple truth. If you do anything to harm any of his own, you were in reality harming Jesus himself. The story of Kyra that you just read has had mixed reactions since I originally wrote it in 1999. Some read it and write me that they were touched deeply by the message. Others write and tell me I have committed a horrible sin in telling others that God loves everyone. You see, some cannot see past what they believe to be wrong with the world and they will select people who are different to focus their own negative energy upon. Christianity focuses on what we believe to be wrong with other beliefs rather than what is right with ours. Did Jesus speak even just once against Buddha? Did he speak out just once against Wicca? Why not? Because he walked in complete love for all and he knew that all life has but one source. (The father of spirits)
If we are truly believe that he is who he claimed to be, then shouldn’t we act just like he taught us to? If so, consider that before you cast the first stone at someone else because they are not like you. A persons dress, lifestyle or religious belief doesn’t make them any less a child of the Father than you are.
THE STRANGER [Scott Carpenter] 1