Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

August 1, 2012

“Get out of town!”

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 5:00 am

I enjoy old western movies.  And if you have watched them often, you are familiar with the phrase, “Get out of town!”  It seems to be a line that appears often in many of the old westerns!  I just saw such a movie and heard that statement.  Usually someone is being warned . . . that person is not welcome in town and so the advice is given to get out of town.  The person does not always know what the consequence may be if they do not leave . .  . but there is usually an assumption of what will happen.

Have you ever had that said to you?  Have you ever been told to get out of town?  I have not had it said to me in those four words . . . but the warning has been there!  Once, the words were said . . . once it was said through actions . . . and once intimated by a threat!

If you have been an avid reader of my blogs through the years, the you would know of those occasions where I wrote of the details.  But today, I thought about a quick synopsis of those events so that I could make a point.

With several friends we travelled by train to the heart of Costa Rica.  We had been invited by the priest in that town to come and distribute Bibles.  We were delighted to do so.  Upon our arrival on a Saturday, we went to the home of the priest . . . only to be greeted by an older priest.  He had come to substitute for the regular priest who had been taken ill and was in a hospital in San Jose.

This priest was very emphatic that we could not distribute the Bibles.  As we tried to reason with him, he pointed toward the center of town — toward the railroad tracks — and told us to be on the next train out!

Before we could go to a local cafe to eat dinner, the word had been sent from the priest that we were not to be fed or housed.  We were stranded until the next morning as no train would be coming through.  Yes, we were told to “Get out of town!”  (Read the whole story.  www.lawsonjolly.com/2012/03/12)

The action that communicated to get out of town was the occasion of being fired because of the race issue.  A vote was taken for us to be dismissed . . . we were told never to step on the church property again . . . and that my personal library and possessions would be on the yard the next morning.  No one pointed a finger and told us to “Get out of town,” but the message was very clear.

There are always actions that can communicate a message stronger than words!  We understood very clearly that we were to leave town and immediately.  We were under a watchful eye as we secured our household belongings.  Those eyes watched as we drove out of town . . . practically being followed to the city limits.  (Read the whole story. www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/04/30 ; www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/05/01www.lawsonjolly.com/2010/05/02)

The other time was when we received a visit from one who was asked to communicate the message, “You are under a credible death threat!”  That message gets your attention.  It says you are no longer welcome in this town.  We understood that for safety it would be better to leave town, but we did not.

We stood our ground, but unable to go outside, to the store, or live life as normal.  (Read this story.  www.lawsonjolly.com/2012/07/10) )

Now why would I reflect on this?  I believe there are so many people who feel unwanted . . . or that no one wants you around . . . or that you have been isolated by family or friends . . . or you just feel all alone as if the world ignores you.

I have thought on my feelings to the situations  of being isolated . . . rejected . . .shut-out . . . not wanted!  I confess that it is not a comfortable feeling.  If that is the way you are feeling, let me encourage you.  It can be disappointing, upsetting, and experiencing a broken heart.  But, feeling so alone is an emotion that we allow to grip us.  You may suffer inwardly because some relationships have changed.  Do not be controlled by your feelings.  There are bright days ahead.  You can be a survivor, regardless of what others do or say to you.

My counsel to you . . . because I have been there . . . is to realize that your life does not revolve around being in that place, or with those individuals.  Your life has a deeper relationship . . .  and that relationship is with Jesus Christ.  With Him, you are never told to “Get out of town.”  He will  not isolate you or leave you alone!  Christ in you is the strength you need for all situations.  Be the victor . . . not the victim!  Believe the promise.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or  sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”  (Romans 8:35, 37)

Lawson

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