Guest post by: Eric Schumacher Several months ago, I read Is There Anybody Out There?, Mez McConnell's recounting of his "journey from despair to hope." As a child, he endured almost unbelievable abuse in his home. This led to drug abuse, violence, and prison time. His life was (slowly) changed by the Gospel and given purpose.
While the story is by no means easy to read, the book reads quickly and is encouraging. Mez tells his story with a helpful combination of humor and candor. His recollections of his first impressions of Christians are convicting. His honesty about his slow 'progress' in the Christian faith is refreshing.
Having benefited from his book, I was thrilled to see that 9Marks recently posted an interview with Mez, who is now doing inner-city ministry in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In one portion of the interview, Mez recounts his earliest encounters with Christians, such as how goofy they looked and how they persevered through his violent responses (smashing their cars, spitting on them, etc.), even tracking him down in prison.
Despite the fact that they weren't cool and seemed quite strange, he kept watching them. And what he couldn't get over was "how they loved each other." His friends on the street would take a knife in the chest for each other, but it was street-code and not love. But these guys "really loved each other." And that, he said, slowly wore him down.
A good reminder of a few things:
1) The world is watching how we love each other, and it is evidence of the truth of the Gospel.
2) How we love each other as believers is a display of the Gospel powerful enough to overcome our incredible lack of 'coolness.'
How we do "life together" is a powerful apologetic for the truth of the Gospel of a Savior who calls us to have our life in him as he lives in us.
Be sure to listen to the whole interview: An Amazing Testimony of God's Grace.