A few weeks ago, one of the Love In the Name of Christ staff members and I received an interesting phone call from a client that some of the churches and agencies such as Love INC had just finished helping. We had met all of his stated needs and so had written up the notes on his case and closed his file.
We were done, God worked again and met some basic needs, and really, we were done.
But he called and asked a simple question: “What do you want me to do now?”
We explained that he did not have to do anything; we had closed his file because his stated needs were met. He asked again, “What do you want me to do now?”
We pondered on the question and again said that there was nothing we required of him and we had closed his file. We ended that phone call and I know neither side of the conversation had satisfaction from the other.
We did not know what he meant and he didn’t know how to state his question to us any other way. We were not able to communicate with one another.
God values communication.
In the Garden of Eden, God and man had clear lines of communication. He spoke to them face to face. Then man took the first steps toward confusing the lines of communication when Adam and Eve disobeyed God with that “simple” act of rebellion — they ate a piece of fruit which God had forbidden them to eat. That act is called sin.
Isaiah explains this clearly: “Listen! The Lord is not too weak to save you, and He is not becoming deaf. He can hear you when you call. But there is a problem — your sins have cut you off from God. Because of your sin, He has turned away and will not listen anymore,” Isaiah 59:1-2, New Living Translation
Since that time, God has worked through his plan to restore the lines of communication and reform a connection with each of us. The Apostle’s Creed is a short chronological summary of those steps.
Consider the effort and dedication God put into this. He came to Earth as a man, Jesus, in order to communicate to humans in a way they understand. His message was important — we need to be cleansed from our sins and only through the divine sacrifice of Christ and belief that the sacrifice was a gift to us for our redemption would we start on the path toward clear communication.
And God has planned in the future for us to continue to communicate with Him when those who have believed in Him will join Him in the everlasting new life he has promised.
Clear communication between God and humans once again will be established.
As for now, we will continue to try to improve our communications with one another because we know God values that. We will listen and pay better attention when we are confused in order to try to understand.
And what happened to our friend, whom we didn’t understand? We called someone who did know what he meant — he needed more help — and we were able to get him the help he really was trying to tell us he needed.