When I was doing short term missionary work in Amsterdam, Holland with Youth With a Mission (YWAM) I had the honor of meeting and working with Floyd McClung. Floyd had been the director of missions in Amsterdam for quite some time by the time I arrived. But I was amazed at how powerfully the love of God flowed through him.
Have you ever met someone that just seems to radiate the love of God? Floyd was like that. When he walked into a room, people just naturally stopped to listen to whatever he had to say. He was genuine and his love for God was so obvious it was amazing.
Floyd told the story about a famous pastor coming over to Holland to visit him. Floyd was a little concerned about what this pastor might think because Floyd had a habit of getting to know the people in his neighborhood – and I mean ALL the people in his neighborhood. You see –Floyd lived in an apartment on the edge of the “Red Light District”. This is the area of Amsterdam where prostitutes sell themselves by sitting behind picture windows on dimly lit streets with red lights above their doorways. It is a dangerous place, cold, forbidding and filled with the sadness of a thousand weary and broken souls.
During his time in the city, Floyd spent a lot of time with his wife crossing this district in prayer. Together they made a habit of greeting the local girls, being friendly and trying to show the love of Christ in an honorable way to these poor, lost ladies. But Floyd was concerned that the famous pastor might mistake the fact that pretty much every girl on the block knew his name for some kind of other activity – which was not the case. But how do you prove that?
Well, the pastor came and, sure enough, as Floyd was escorting him across the district to the ministry’s other building, the girls happily waved and called out “Good morning Pastor” or “Hi Floyd, how’s your wife?” Floyd’s first impulse was to ignore them or try and brush them off but then he thought, “No, Jesus wasn’t ashamed of the woman at the well. He wasn’t ashamed of the woman caught in adultery either.” So Floyd waved back, said hello and was as pleasant and kind as was his regular habit. He could feel himself blush and dared not even look at how the man beside him might be reacting.
But the famous pastor said nothing at the time and finally left. Later, he wrote to Floyd about what a powerful impact that incident had had on him. After so many years of “preaching to the sheep” this famous man had lost sight of the lost and the broken. He’d forgotten what it meant to love the unlovable. He said, “walking with you that day was like walking with Jesus. It’s how I imagine Jesus was greeted by those the Pharisees despised.”
Wow – what a compliment. Can you imagine someone saying, “being with you was like being with Jesus.” I can’t think of anything more humbling – nor can I think of anything I would rather someone say of me. This, my dear friends, is what all of us should strive to be – like Jesus. May we radiate His love in such real and honest ways that people walking alongside imagine they are walking with Jesus.
Patrick Marks is the pastor of FourteenSix Christian Church and the author of: The Far Frigid North (a funny story for just .99) http://goo.gl/MnZNo Legend (A suspense novel for just 1.99) http://goo.gl/7zzHI and Someone’s Making a Monkey Out of You (an answer to evolution for just 2.99) http://goo.gl/UCJxI