Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Rumor Faintly Heard

One of my “Star Persons” and spiritual mentors once wrote me, “Thanks, Hal, for keeping the rumor alive.”  What rumor? And what is a rumor?  When used as a noun it means a “currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth.”  (The synonyms for “rumor” include words like, “gossip, speculation, and hearsay).  When the word “rumor” is used as a verb it implies the circulation of an unverified account as in “It is rumored that he recently moved to another state.”  There are certainly a lot of rumors being spread around these days—statements and stories of uncertain truth, rumors of unverified happenings and circumstances.

What was the rumor my friend wanted me to keep alive?  It was and is, the rumor that in this broken and ailing world, there is at the heart of it all, a God, who, while indefinable, has been made more clearly known by a person who lived over two thousand years and who some claim, lives still!  Rumor has it that if we want to know what God is like, we can look at this man, Jesus, and get some really good clues.  That’s the rumor faintly heard these days, but it is the rumor that I mean to keep alive.

Since we in our day are so gullible as to believe almost anything spoken or written by anybody, I see no good reason not to continue to keep this particular rumor alive.  Here I am doing so on social media where all kinds of rumors abound.  Why not spread this one around too?

Rumors abound!
Rumor has it that Jesus went around doing good, that he taught great truths, that he healed, that he cared, and that he cast no one aside.  Rumor even has it that we can actually possess his mind, his very spirit, in our own lives.  Rumor has it that he loved and still loves, that he is available to us at all times, in our trouble and distress and in our joy and laughter.  Rumor has it that he is “afflicted in our afflictions,” and that his Voice sounds within us all, calling us to be transformed into his likeness.  Rumor has it that many have believed this rumor through the centuries, men and women such as Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, George Fox, John Wesley, Catherine of Siena, Albert Schweitzer, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and so many more.  Rumor has it that they made a tremendous difference in our world following in the footsteps of this Man of Galilee, whom they called “Master.”  This is the rumor that has been circulated and echoed through the centuries and yet is still faintly heard.  It is this rumor that I mean, and without apology, to keep alive.

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