Friday, October 16, 2015

"Who Was That Masked Man?"

Jeremiah 15.19b NAS

“And if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman.”


I am old enough to remember the 1950’s television show (adapted from an earlier radio program which I do not remember) called “The Lone Ranger”.

“A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust, and a hearty ‘Hi-Yo Silver!’ Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Ranger Rides Again!”

Each episode ended as the Lone Ranger on his trusty steed, Silver, and Tonto, his American Indian sidekick, rode into the sunset to the music of Rossini’s William Tell Overture and one of the story’s characters scratching his head in admiration, wondering, “Who was that masked man?”

I’ve always wanted to be “that masked man”; the guy who rescues the girl, shoots the villain, inspires the town, and saves the day. I don’t have a horse. I don’t have a gun. I don’t even have a mask. But I do have at my disposal something more influential than all of these implements of power. I have words. Words have clout. They can change the course of human lives and leave people wondering what hit them. 

I confess, sometimes I wish for the impossible, like going back in time. I’d like another chance to say it better. “I wish I had said…” When I become analytical about a recent interaction and relive the moment, it’s usually for an unredeemed purpose. In my mind, I win the argument, save face, appear more in control, and better drive my point home. I visualize the people with whom I was engaged and I deliver the ‘real zinger’ I should have said. I tell someone off and leave my audience in speechless contemplation of my profundity. As I ride off into the sunset, I imagine they are wondering, “Who was that guy?”
 
This fantasy is not reality nor is it God’s will. When words convey “the wisdom from above” as they should, they are “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy”  (James 3.17). I am called to “extract the precious from the worthless” (or the divine from the human) in my choice of words. I must distinguish the way Jesus would say it from the way Dave would. This takes forethought, prayer, and humility, and other things I’m not very good at. When I am thinking more about ‘what I should have said’ than ‘what I plan to say’, I am backward, not forward thinking. 

It’s better to be caring than clever. I don’t have to be a masked hero. I just need to take out the “Dave part”, then thoughtfully and lovingly convey God’s message as I hear it.

“And if you extract the precious from the worthless, you will become My spokesman.”


1 comment:

Nitewrit said...

Dave,

Yes, and in a way I would prefer the mask. Not for hiding, but for disappearing. Let the focus be on the words and not on the person who keyed them.

By the way, I can remember the Lone Ranger on radio.

Larry E.