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At the high school down here in Puerto Quito, the physics teacher has been asking me to help him out in the lab. Finally, I agreed to help out with one of the labs. There’s a reason.

It’s one thing to hear something in the classroom and think you understand it. It’s another thing to see someone work something out in front of you in a classroom, and think you understand it. But it’s a completely different thing to do it all yourself. That’s where the lab comes in. You learn by hands-on experience. You learn like an adult. That’s what I like.

So the kids had a bunch of batteries and had to connect the batteries in a few different ways with some wires, and then connect the wires to a little lightbulb to make it come on. So after the first questions about how to get the meter to work, attach the wires, etc., away they went with the batteries and the tape and the wires and the little lamps. And an amazing thing happened. One by one each group got their little lamp to light up. But it wasn’t so much that the lamp lit up, for me at least. It was their response. “Wow!” The confidence and pride and amazement at what they themselves did, was very moving to me. They wanted to tell it and show it off to everyone. It was like they were lifted up, they were like new people. I thought, that’s the amazement of a witness. They have actually seen the light. Now, they understand. And now, they can do what only witnesses can do: they can show others.

John the Baptist was a hands-on guy. You know how I know? He lived in camel’s skin and ate wild locusts and honey. He lived in the desert. In other words, he didn’t just study the scriptures and the prophets, he lived them. It was by living the scripture and the prophets that John got to see the light come on. He was a witness to the light, so he could do what witnesses do: show others. “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” (Jn 1:29)

It’s one thing to know about God. It’s one thing to maybe study a little religion, maybe study theology and get a degree, or maybe just some casual reading, or maybe getting educated about the Church or religions say about God. But Jesus never taught in a classroom or with books. He did say, “Follow me” (Mt 4:19), and He took off into life. Hands-on experience. Like an adult. Now, I have an opinion on this. If you take Him up on that, then, yeah, maybe at first it’s a little confusing and you’ve got questions. But at some point, the light will go on. You will see the light and you will be amazed at what you see.

You will become a witness, and then you’ll be able to do what only witnesses can do:

Show others.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light. The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world.  (Jn 1:4-9)


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