A while ago, I was visiting my friend Chris and he showed me the movie he was in about 4 years ago. The movie was a short film for a film festival, shot by some African American young adults, with a positive message about doing your best.
So I sat down to watch, and there’s my friend Chris playing a role of a white boss, talking street talk with a black man who’s come looking for a dream job and getting the janitor’s job. Now, when we were younger guys in a more roaming time, my friend Chris always enjoyed doing street talk as a joke, he liked to make people laugh. He was always a good salesman, good at influencing people. So he starts to tell me then story.
He tells me that he was sitting in his car, doing some of his professional sales prep work, when a black man approaches him and introduces himself and tells him that he is making a short film, and that he thinks he would be perfect for one of the roles. He asks Chris if he’s interested, and he says, Sure. So he gives him a date and time to meet, Chris goes and the rest is history.
So as we are watching the film, and he’s doing the street talk, the stuff I remember he used to do as a farce when he was younger, he makes a little confession to me. “When we were doing the first take, it came time for my lines, and I just started improvising and talking that way. After the first take, the guy came over to me and was amazed. He said they never thought I could do that – they loved it!” He is a very good salesman.
Now I don’t know about you, but what I wanted to ask him was, why did you go? I was amazed. Why did you say yes to a complete stranger, and why did you show up as probably the only white guy in the middle of a tough neighborhood, trusting a complete stranger who approached you in a parking lot? Where’s the guarantee? Where’s the concrete evidence that it’s the real deal before you go? All he’s got is this guy’s word!
Because that’s what made all the difference. That’s what turned a childish habit and his sales profession into a gift that got a positive message out to many people. It’s faith. Trust in one man’s word.
When Jesus called the apostles, He came to them a complete stranger. He gave them an invitation. There were no guarantees, no concrete evidence. All He gave them was His Word. But their yes is what made all the difference. It’s what turned their old lives into gifts that got the Gospel out to many people.
It was their faith. Their trust in His Word.
When God calls us to be redeemed, when He wants to take what is not quite fulfilling, what is underdeveloped, or broken, or lost in our lives and do great things with it, He’s going to call us to step out and come along with him to do something special, something that’s going to lift many people up. But there are not going to be guarantees, no real concrete evidence. Just His Word.
Our yes can make all the difference. Our faith is what can turn our lives into gifts that get the good news out to many people.
Trust in His Word.
And passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and followed him. (Mk 1:16-20)