I met him in a church we were attending. I’ll call him Bob Rice. That’s not his real name, but it will do. From the first moment we met, it was clear that Bob wasn’t in good physical shape at all. He was beyond middle-age, but many of his problems were not age-related. We became friends and one day he told me his story. It’s a rather strange story that I will pass on to you.
When he was young man, Bob, was a hard worker. He did construction and like a lot of young guys in that business, when he wasn’t working he liked to party. Hard. He was a hard drinker. Needless to say, but I will anyway, Bob wasn’t interested in religion of any kind, certainly not Christianity. In fact, his favorite swear words were JESUS CHRIST!!! He used them often.
One night after he had been doing a lot of drinking, he got in his truck (he was proud of that truck) and headed home. But he went just a little too fast. Instead, making it home, he ran off the road and crashed. The truck was totaled and he about totaled his body. As messed up as he was, he should have died. Instead, Bob went into a coma that lasted six months. During that time, he wasn’t aware of anything. Basically, he was a vegetable. And that’s the way his family expected he would remain. But at the end of six months, something happened.
Bob “awoke” to find himself standing on a flat desert. There was nothing in any direction as far as he could see. As strange as it was, everything was completely real, not like a dream at all. Suddenly, in the distance he saw something. A figure was walking toward him. When it got closer he could tell that it was a man. Then he got really close and Bob saw who it was. And it was the last person he ever expected to meet. It was Jesus. Of course, because he didn’t believe in Him, Bob was absolutely shocked. Unfortunately, when he was shocked he had a very limited vocabulary, in fact, basically, one response, which he used at that very moment.
Staring wide-eyed, he yelled, “JESUS CHRIST!!!”
To which, Jesus stared right back and yelled, “BOB RICE!!!”
Well, they had a long, serious talk. Soon afterward, Bob awoke from his coma and his life was never the same. There was physical damage that would stay with him. But far more important, he gave his life to Jesus. After all, he had met Him personally.
So that’s Bob’s little story. He’s not what you would call a sophisticated man, but he’s a good man who loves Jesus very much.
I was thinking about swear words the other day. I have a lot of friends who use JESUS CHRIST!!! the same way Bob did. A lot of good Christians get very upset by that. I have a feeling that it doesn’t bother Jesus at all. Think about it. If someone constantly used your name that way how would you feel? If someone yelled COLEMAN LUCK!!! all the time, I’m afraid I’d be laughing at the straight-out silliness of it.
But there is something to consider. When you yell, JESUS CHRIST!!!, He hears and you may get His special attention. Just like Bob Rice, He knows your name too, and He cares about you. It may be more like a prayer than you realize.