I read this story today:
“16-Year-Old Florida Girl Held Down By Classmates, Raped On Videotape”
It is a horrific story. It is an act of wild beasts, creatures without a conscience; without compassion. These were girls and boys—youth—who viciously attacked their classmate. They beat her, terrorized her, and violated her. She will likely suffer the trauma of this wicked cruelty for the rest of her life.
And, they were her friends.
As the words is this report were assaulting my mind and soul, I heard these words in my spirit:
“This is the world.”
Immediately, the passage of scripture that says, “Friendship with the world is enmity with God,” came to mind. Here is the entire verse:
“Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, NKJV)
It’s pretty clear what is being said here, but a scene began to fill my head as I considered this article and these words from James. Imagine it with me.
Our heroine, let’s call her “Caroline,” has just been enjoying a picnic of tuna fish sandwiches with her coworkers. Their Boss, who is really more like a Friend, invited them to lunch with Him. We shall call Him “Jesus.”
It’s a beautiful day for a picnic, and Jesus prepared a delicious meal. Caroline has been having a very nice time with Him, as she always does love His company. Yet, for a moment, just a second, she takes her eyes off of Him and looks around at the others in the park. She’s just curious.
I wonder what everyone else is doing?
Across the greenway from where her group is sitting, Caroline spots an attractive and rather mysterious-looking gentleman. She tries not to stare, but there’s something about him that’s just so…appealing. Caroline looks back at Jesus, and He is saying something about His Father. That’s interesting, she thinks. She nods, and tries to focus on His words. She wants to hear; she is interested. Still, her mind keeps wandering. She is hearing Jesus, but is now thinking about this mysterious stranger. He has captivated her attention. She can’t get him out of her mind.
Just one more peek, she tells herself, as she looks back in his direction. But, he’s not there. Her eyes dart across the park. Panic rises. Where is he? Did he leave? Then, she sees him. A sigh of relief passes her lips. He’s walking across the greenway. He’s walking towards her! Her heart beats faster. He’s getting closer. She sits up taller, and tucks a stray hair back in place. Her fingers flit up to her ears. Did I remember to wear earrings? He has made his way to her side of the park. She somehow knows he won’t come near her circle, but that’s OK. He’s in a better position now, where can see him without turning her head away. This is perfect. Everyone around her thinks she is looking at Jesus, when in reality her eyes are beholding him.
She hasn’t realized that Jesus can see her eyes, and He knows exactly where she has set her focus.
As she catches the eye of her mystery man, he smiles and makes a faint gesture. He beckons her to follow him. Where is he going? She cranes her neck. Now, her coworkers realize something is wrong. She doesn’t care what they think anymore. They don’t understand. She’s tired of being judged. Oh, no! He’s getting away!
Caroline is suddenly desperate for him, desperate for his presence. Thinking quickly, she blurts out, “Lord, I think I’ll go throw our trash away.” She has interrupted what He was saying, but He isn’t angry. He looks at her with concern, and reassures her:
“I can take care of that later, Caroline. Don’t worry. Just stay here, and let’s enjoy our time together.”
“No, no. I need to do this now. Right now. It can’t wait, Lord.” She tries to control the panic in her voice. She is trying to keep one eye on the Lord, and one on her mystery man. It’s not working. She sees him looking back at her, but he doesn’t stop. He won’t wait for her. I have to go now. He’s leaving without me!
Jesus is saying something to her, but she can’t hear Him now. Hastily grabbing the remains of her meal, Caroline hurries after this one who has tempted her away. Completely captivated by her own imagination, her paces quickens and she begins to run toward the thick wood. Stumbling along dark pathway, she leaves a trail of rubbish behind her.
“You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, Amp.)
(This is a re-post from my old blog, two years ago today.)