Coffee Stains: Voices From the GroundAuthor: David Porter
There’s a discussion over the meaning of the current crisis under “You Speak Out” to the right on this page.
We are walking through the desert at midnight, you and I. An eerie atmosphere infuses the darkness when suddenly a voice, spooky and ethereal seems to rise from the sand. It scares us and draws us. There, just in front, a something speaks from the ground, wailing over and over, ‘Vengeance. Vengeance. Vengeance.” We try to run but our feet are frozen to the ground. Something compels us to respond to the voice. ‘Vengeance? For what?” The unearthly sound responds, ‘My brother Cain killed me. Vengeance … vengeance … vengeance. ” ‘Humm. If I see someone I’ll tell him about it,” you say as we finally get our sticky feet loose and explode away from there like two Olympic sprinters springing from the starting blocks.
Finally, miles away, we slow as a hill looms before us. We pause a moment to get our breath. ‘Whoa! What was that?” I ask. ‘I’m not going by there again.” As we start to climb, we become aware of lights punctuating the landscape below. Thousands of people live in this area and we want to go to the top to take it all in. What a sight! Why there’s not thousands of lights down there, but hundreds of thousands, maybe millions … maybe hundreds of millions? What is this? Suddenly from the air around, a gentle voice begins to sing a word, ‘Salvation, salvation, salvation.” ‘Ah! It’s starting again” we think, getting ready to put our Nikes in motion. But, wait … it’s different. Listen. ‘Salvation, grace, healing, joy, peace, holiness, rightness before God, eternal life, relationship,” the beautiful words chant on and on, rising to a swirling crescendo in the air all around. Unlike the other cry, which came from the ground, this one seemed to be a part of the very fabric of the universe. ‘What are you? Who …” I falter.
You’ve come to Jesus, who presents us with a new covenant, a fresh charter from God. He is the Mediator of this covenant. The murder of Jesus, unlike Abel’s, a homicide that cried out for vengeance, became a proclamation of grace.” (Heb. 12:23, 24 The Message).
‘Grace, grace, God’s grace in Christ to whoever comes by faith in His Name.” ‘Grace?” Grace offered to all those teeming millions around this mountain? Suddenly you wake with a start. ‘Wow! No more pizzas at 11pm for me,” you say. Yet, that dream … maybe it is more than a dream.