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The Wild Goose Chase August 20, 2017

Welcome to “The Wild Goose Chase!” The Celtic Christians called the Holy Spirit “The Wild Goose” because it was untamed and smarter than any other bird.

Dear Sisters and Brothers:

I’ll never forget the day I stood on the stage in the auditorium at James Crabtree Correctional Facility and watched Billy G. hug an African American man. Billy had grown up as a White Supremacist in rural Arkansas. He was incarcerated for 2nd degree murder at the time I met him, the murder of a black man. Billy was a hard, hard man. And most of the prison yard gave him a wide berth.

We had the opportunity to provide a Kairos Spiritual Event that weekend, and I was one of the Clergy serving on that team. That was a very intense, stressful and busy weekend. Behind the prison walls are many little societies and cliques. Some of them are just special interest groups, others are very dangerous. Billy belonged to the dangerous group.

I do not recall the conversations I had with him or with other inmates, but I do remember the start of that weekend and the hostility that sparked across tables between white and black inmates. It took nearly 4 days for the presences of Jesus Christ to begin to make a difference. But when Jesus showed up, he showed up big time, and things changed.

I won’t say exactly what transpired, that would not be right, but I will say that the Gospel was alive and being fulfilled before my very eyes. And at the end, Billy G. hugged an African American and vowed to never place his hands on another man of color in anger ever again.

I wish that Billy and some of the others from that Kairos weekend had been in Charlottesville last week, maybe things would have been different. Maybe people would not have been killed.

In Galatians 3:28 New Revised Standard Version we hear: 28 There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”

If we are to call ourselves Christians, Christ followers, would it not make sense to “… love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)?

Please remember, God loves you and so do I, and all you can do about it is love back.

Still In One Peace,

Stephen