Friday, 13 April 2012

Brothers under the bridge.

When I lived in Abbottsford BC, I found myself alone and flat broke. My wife would not let me live there (see My Testimony) and I couldn't afford anything else and so I lived under a bridge for a while. I survived on bread from the food bank and blackberries that grew in the ditches. I was so ashamed of how low I had gotten and I couldn't understand why this was happening to me.

I still went to church though. I told a few friends at the church of my dilemma. They just shook their heads and said things like "Keep looking to God and He will look after you" and "That's too bad but God will provide" and then they would go and find their other, more socially acceptable friends and go out to a restaurant for dinner. After that they would avoid me like a leper. So I would go back to my bridge and pick some more blackberries for my lunch. I would cry out to God "What am I doing wrong?"

I know now that God was showing me the problem with the church. All the churches. Selfishness, pride, close-mindedness, uncaring attitudes, cliqueiness, boastfulness, bigotry, idolatry. All of this in a place where they say they are free from these things. They strut around saying "Praise God, I'm Saved!"

Jesus said:

Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
Jesus was trying to get across to people what Brotherhood is all about. I met several other homeless people under that bridge that were more caring and more generous than the 'good christians' in the church. They understood what it was to be homeless. If you've never been homeless, let me tell you what it's like. It's cold at night. It's hot in the day. It's dirty. It's uncomfortable. You never know when someone will come along and steal what little you have. You worry about the cops coming along and kicking you out of your 'home'. You have no privacy and your self-esteem is in the gutter. But you meet other homeless people. They may be from vastly different circumstances but you share something. Brotherhood. Brotherhood of despair, yes. Brotherhood of hopelessness, yes. But Brotherhood none the less. I saw more caring and sharing from the heathen brothers under the bridge than I saw from the Christians in the nice comfortable church. Church people like to put on a show of praying for the lost but until they are willing to go and live under a bridge and realize that they are NO BETTER than the other people they meet there, they will never understand what Brotherhood is all about.

Rom 8:29
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Jesus was the firstborn among many Brethren. Brethren means Brotherhood. As the body of Christ we are to be a brotherhood. We should be helping carry each others burdens. We should share in the hard times as well as rejoice together in the good times. And I'm not talking about our own little circle of friends. I'm talking about reaching out to your brothers, ESPECIALLY the ones that AREN'T in our own little circle.

1Jn 3:10In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

1Jn 3:11
For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

Listen to the song below and see if you can identify with the loneliness and the grief and the brokenness it portrays about a Viet Nam vet who comes back and is trying to explain to his daughter why he can't live at home with his family.

When you can't listen to this without spilling some tears and you can understand why he lives under a bridge and your heart goes out to him, THEN you are ready to understand Brotherhood. And THEN you are ready to be some good to the body of Christ. THEN you will be my brother and we can go together to seek out our other lost brothers. . . under the bridge.


          Bruce Springsteen - Brothers Under The Bridge

          Saigon, it was all gone
          The same Coke machines
          As the streets I grew on
          Down in a mesquite canyon
          We come walking along the ridge
          Me and the brothers under the bridge

          Campsite's an hour's walk from the nearest road to town
          Up here there's too much brush and canyon
          For the CHP choppers to touch down
          Ain't lookin' for nothin', just wanna live
          Me and the brothers under the bridge
          Come the Santa Ana's, man, that dry brush'll light
          Billy Devon got burned up in his own campfire one winter night
          We buried his body in the white stone high up along the ridge
          Me and the brothers under the bridge

          Had enough of town and the street life
          Over nothing you end up on the wrong end of someone's knife
          Now I don't want no trouble
          And I ain't got none to give
          Me and the brothers under the bridge

          I come home in '72
          You were just a beautiul light
          In your mama's dark eyes of blue
          I stood down on the tarmac, I was just a kid
          Me and the brothers under the bridge

          Come Veterans' Day I sat in the stands in my dress blues
          I held your mother's hand
          When they passed with the red, white and blue
          One minute you're right there
          then something slips. . . .
    1Pe 2:17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome word brother, and I am honored to be your brother. Bless you man. Moose