Tuesday, Third Week in Advent

by Matthew B. Harper

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20)

God is at your door knocking, always, everywhere. Feels kind of like ‘Big Brother,’ huh? Not exactly.

In prison I am under constant scrutiny. I am constantly checked, interrogated, and searched. It is seldom that I go more than a few hours without having to justify myself to a guard and be touched and searched. When I am not in front of a guard, I am often on a security camera somewhere. And much worse than that is the scrutiny that comes from other inmates. We watch each other constantly.

In prison, it has often been said, in a parody of the slogan of the army, that you can ‘be all that you can pretend to be.’ I cannot count the number of times when men in here, often young and scared, spin tall tales of how famous, dangerous, and rich they were. We often joke that there are no drug addicts in here, just drug dealers. There are no prostitutes in here, just pimps. But under the watchful eyes of other prisoners, true character always comes out.

I long to go to a place away from society and just be quiet and alone for a while. But until that time comes, I use the presence of scrutiny as a chance to witness. I love to study apologetics, and I love to talk and argue; but God needs more witnesses, not more lawyers. Every relationship that we have, in every situation that we find ourselves, there is a chance to model Christian love. There is a chance to witness Christ, even without ever speaking a word.

Surely Christ is always watching us, just as Christ is always with us, and inviting God in will transform every relationship, every interaction. Be a witness today, because somebody is watching you.

Come, O Father saving Son, who o’er sin the victory won. Boundless shall your kingdom be; grant that we it’s glories see. (Hymn 54)

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