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Sunday, August 16, 2009


J. Grant Swank, Jr.

There is less conversation today, researchers tell us.

There is thereby less friendly exchange for the one influences the other.

It used to be that when I walked through this New England village people greeted one another: “Good morning.”

Now they cast their eyes away or downward, that is, except for persons my age—70. They still hold onto the old-fashioned American friendliness. They even open doors for one another.

America can retrieve its friendliness again. But it will happen chiefly when genuine Christians craft the milieu.

Christians however have been caught in the present-tense fear fog. They have distanced themselves, even from one another. Have you noted that?

I have.

The other day my wife and I went Dunn’s Cabins alongside a large pond where campers hang out summers. I heard someone strumming on a guitar. Rhonda said: “That’s a group of Christians over there having evening devotions.”

I thought how quaint. And how inviting. So I walked toward them, expecting some sort of smile montage. Perhaps someone would wave me a greeting. There were about two dozen gathered by the water’s edge.

Only one smiled toward me, waving his teen hand. All others basically ignored me altogether.

All lawn chairs were taken but there was an edge to a picnic table bench so I sat on the edge.

The fellow plucking the guitar barely looked in my direction though the group was singing gospel choruses.

When they finished that one chorus, the guitarist looked at me, smiling slightly, said his first name at which time I smiled in return and spoke my first name. I supposed that was our twosome greeting and would suffice.

There was a chill in the summer evening humidity.

I thought: “Is the prophecy of end times’ hearts growing cold even pressing upon born again souls?”

I have thought this in other venues in the last several years. I don’t think I’m imaging this negativism. It hurts. It’s not nice. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Christians must make certain that the “hearts growing cold” does not take over their own faces and feelings. We must keep the gospel warm and pleasant for it represents the Spirit of Christ within.