Connected to the Disconnected - February 2020

By P. Daniel Buford     Well, that was what some people thought. But to a concerned Christ-like disciple named George, he was a lost soul. I rode with George as he persisted in his errand of mercy. We drove up to the small house with no real signs of life surrounding it. It was evening, and there was just a little glimmer of light inside the dwelling, but George was a change maker. He got out, went in, chased the darkness away as he turned on lights, and found the disconnected soul struggling to return to soberness but not quite there yet. Talking, praying, preaching a bit, and finding the makings for coffee, George, in his own way, started connecting to the disconnected, started building up the man everyone else had given up. 

There was another disconnected man. When he was sober he was good, really good. But he had a flaw; he was weak willed. When he got a paycheck, his so-called friends would hijack him and lead him to the tavern. With flattery and ego-building words, they cruelly coaxed him to part with his money and party with them, at his own expense. After all of his money was gone, along with his friends, he would stumble home to a wife and child, with no money to show for his hard work, and no way to provide for his family. With a broken home and a broken life, he wandered into a United Pentecostal Church with a concerned disciple serving as pastor. As he sought to connect with the disconnected, he established a friendship, a relationship—a connection was established. Coming to church, receiving the Holy Ghost, being baptized in Jesus’ name, the man did great for a while. Then the “friends” came along, and the journey returned to the start again. This cycle became familiar to the pastor and the members of the church.

But the church grew, a new building was built, and new pews were needed. A campaign was started to raise money for the pews. Each family bought a pew. Businesses bought a pew. And the disconnected man bought a pew. But he had a stipulation. He wanted to buy the back pew, because that is where his “friends” would sit if they ever came to church.

The disconnected woman came to the well in the middle of the day, when the sun was the hottest. She avoided the other women. She was disconnected. She had been connected to five husbands but disconnection had been certain. The man she was living with at the time was not her husband—still disconnected. But the Master connected with her over the subject of living water. What a way with words! What a way connecting with people. He cared enough to stretch, to reach, even when the person was disconnected with fulfilling life.

Some men came to Jesus once pushing a disconnected woman into His presence. She was disconnected from morality. She was disconnected from righteousness. The men tried to trap Jesus with some words of Moses, but Jesus did not fall into their trap. Instead, He offered to let any of them who was without sin cast the first stone at the adulterous woman. One by one they turned away in defeat. Then Jesus turned and connected with the disconnected woman by His words of grace and mercy, “Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.” What a connection of forgiveness and love with a life of faded love and pitiful promises.

I experienced the first two illustrations because of the final two illustrations. Jesus showed us how to connect with the disconnected. Now we can go and do likewise.