Thursday, April 21st, 2022. 6:25 PM.
[based on encounters at My Free Cams]
An Imaginary Conversation for Illustration
[Her official name at My Free Cams isn’t Mary]
Mark: “Hi Mary.”
Mary: “How are you?”
Mary: “Wary of what?”
Mark: “Ungratefulness and unfriendliness.”
Mary: “What are you referring to?”
Mark: “The human heart of unbelievers.”
Mary: “Would you explain that?”
Mark: “OK, let me answer by parable: A beautiful lady has a store on Main Street in the town where she lives. When customers come in and shop and bring their items to her cash register, she is all smiles while bagging their purchases and taking their payment. But come closing time, she goes out the front door and locks it. And she won’t even be pleasant to those on the sidewalk near her storefront. Many of them are her own customers; but she pays them no mind – not even a glance of recognition. After this happens many times, one of her customers on the sidewalk asks her: “Hey, what’s the matter? You don’t even say Hi to us who come into your store every day and give you our business and pay you?”
Mary: “I appreciate your business. When you enter my store, I’m all smiles at the cash register. What more do you want from me? Sorry, I just can’t be friendly unless you’re in my store and paying me. So, don’t be coming into my store just to be friendly and talk with me while you enjoy seeing me in all my natural God-given glory. I’m not in business to be friends. I’m only here for income; so, I can pay my bills, you understand? I don’t have the joy in my heart to just love my neighbors for free. You must pay me every time we meet – or you’re just a bother to me – like freeloaders.”
He replied, “Mary, I was in the store just 10 minutes ago; and bought $20 worth of things.”
Mary: “Yes, but that was in the store. We are not in the store now. And you’re not paying me now.”
He: “Mary, is money the only thing you respect? Do you have nothing in your heart for people?”
Mary: “Well, I did read something in the Bible that I understand.”
He: “And what is that Mary?”
Mary: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” -Matthew 6:24. ESV Study Bible.
Subsequently, Mary could not understand why she had no customers coming into her store anymore. She did not believe in the Lord Jesus and the gospel; so, the Lord Jesus did not [yet] send his Holy Spirit into Mary’s heart – the Spirit of understanding, the Spirit of truth — Who pours the love of God into the hearts of true believers and gives them joy, too. So, in Mary’s cool heart and darkened mind she was not able to share love and kindness and loving kindness and generosity of spirit – even though she was very beautiful in appearance. And she could not understand why her business was doing so poorly.
ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?
CeeLo Green “Mary Did You Know” Official Music Video – The Bible Series.mov | FOX Home Entertainment
Mary, Did You Know with Lyrics
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
“And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” -Colossians 1:15-29. ESV Study Bible.
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.” -Isaiah 11:1-5. ESV Study Bible.
Isaiah 11-14. ESV
Open the Eyes of My Heart – Update 9 Years Later with Christopher Duffley
Christopher Duffley’s Story
Open the Eyes of My Heart – Christopher & Grace Duffley
Hold Me – Christopher & Grace Duffley