Curt and I sit spell-bound as Ravi Zacharias delivers his message to a large, diverse crowd, some of whom have expressed deep animosity and disrespect prior to his arrival. I am tense. A student comes to the microphone with a cocky, arrogant, disrespectful attitude, and my pulse races. I watch to see how Ravi reacts.
I think about Jesus, who—unlike any of us—knew the heart of every individual. He dealt differently with people accordingly. But Ravi isn’t God. He can’t see their hearts. How will he respond?
I believe he, like every true Christian, wants to have the right spirit, a Christ-follower’s spirit. I believe he realizes the “right spirit” for a follower doesn’t necessarily equal “whatever Jesus did.” I try to learn from Ravi’s example.
He inspires me to show careful respect for all individuals, to treat every fellow human being as I want to be treated. Even in response to the most arrogant and disrespectful, I see a grace—the beauty of the divine demonstrated in humanity—and it is pure loveliness. I want that in my life. I want the graces of Christ demonstrated through me so that others will be drawn to Him through my example.
As I interact with you, my readers, I am seeking to be a better follower of Jesus. I want to demonstrate the beauty of his care. I’m sure, being a human, I haven’t always executed perfectly, but my heart’s desire, my intent is to keep listening to myself, examining what I’m thinking, what I’m saying, what I'm writing. How might I come across to various audiences? As carefully as I know how, I want to show that I do care about each individual. I am committed to treat all with respect, for I believe each of us are made in the image of God—whatever that fully means I’m not sure, but I’m convinced it means (at least) that we each matter, we’re individually valuable.
Thank you, Dr. Zacharias, for the beauty of Christ you so humbly demonstrate to the world. You continue to inspire me.
(The live-stream of Ravi's presentation at U. Penn is archived and can be watched here.)