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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

HIGH STREET, by Jack Stinson


Day 5 Thursday

Yesterday we discussed how Jack Stinson covered the topic of “shame”, and how it was nothing more than a false humility, a type of pride. Today I want to talk about something we can all relate to. I want to talk about “fear”. Now you may be thinking I'm doubling back on what I said yesterday, but I'm not. In this story about Jamie Boyer pride expressed itself in the form of shame. However, fear was a very different matter. With shame he thought about what others thought about him, but with fear he had to face himself. A good part of the book deals with Jamie trying to excuse himself, to rationalize things, yet at the same time we get to see Jamie's heart. He's scared. He doesn't fear death to the extent one might think. What he fears is himself. On a number of occasions I've stated that the most frightening horror stories are those where a person must face himself. Stinson does a great job at showing the absolute horror that Jamie experiences. With each new experience he seems to see himself more and more clear so that the end result is truly one of absolute horror. I'm not talking something like most horror stories. This is more terrifying because it is more realistic, much closer to home.

When we are faced with ourselves, and are honest about it, it should frighten us. Who are we anyway? Nothing but a sack of dirt that God is keeping alive by His mighty power. Reality isn't a pleasant thing. We see what we are doing, the lies, the gossiping, the drugs, the lusts, and look at our hands. We see bloody hands holding a huge metal spike while it is pounded into the feet of our Savior. We hear our voices cry out, “Crucify Him!” and wonder what wretched creatures we must be. How could God ever love us? Jesus put Himself on that cross for our sins. We are the murderers. We can scarcely look in the mirror because of this reality. The same is true with Jamie Boyer, only he doesn't even know about Jesus other than a word used in a vulgar way. Throughout HIGH STREET we find layer upon layer of excuses and rationalizations being stripped from him, until at last he stands naked, ugly, without excuse. Oh that each of us would let this story take you to this place. For it is here that you can finally hear and understand the words of Jesus on the cross, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” There, in that naked reality, in fear and trembling we realize who and what we are, and it is there, if we would call upon the name of the Lord we can find ourselves changed, clothed in His righteousness.

If there is one thing this book teaches us that we should never forget, it is this, we are creatures, not even worthy of God's smallest consideration, yet because of Jesus He has brought us into His house and made us to be joint heirs with His Son. We are His children. If we have come to salvation by some other route than facing ourselves and our lawlessness before a holy God, then that salvation is in jeopardy. When we come to Him through His Son, knowing full well that we are lawbreakers of the worse kind, then He makes us righteous in Christ Jesus. Our salvation is no longer dependent upon how good we are, but upon the perfection of the Son of God. As we appreciate this truth we can offer up true praises and worship to our Heavenly Father.

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