Dropping the Name of Jesus

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re at some religious function (I don’t do these any more, but the memories are strong), and as part of an ice-breaking game, you’re asked, “What three books would you bring with you on a desert island?”

Three books on a desert island — can it be a multi-volume series? Embrace Each Day poster by Steve Henderson

So hard. So hard.

Pride and Prejudice? Jane Eyre? The Lord of the Rings Trilogy? Any Agatha Christie novel?

Harry Potter? Nah, I’m just joking on that one. Although I suppose you would need toilet paper.

The key thing is that this is a religious function, and someone out there is sure to say, “The Holy Bible,” at which point, everyone else is obligated to include that as one of their three options.

Or if you’re asked, “What are your three favorite possessions?” someone will feel compelled to say say, “My salvation in Jesus Christ.”

The three living people you most want to meet? While you’re agonizing between Benedict Cumberbatch and Tommy Lee Jones, someone intones, “The Lord Jesus Christ.”

“You said living people.”

“But the Lord Jesus Christ is living. Or didn’t you know that?”

Ouch. Such love.

Loving one another. It’s a lifetime process of perfecting our abilities in this. Beachside Diversions, original and limited edition prints on Steve Henderson Fine Art Website, open edition art print at Great Big Canvas.

You get the idea. There go one of the three options, and you feel like a heathen because you didn’t think of it first, you were so busy thinking about earthly, fleshly, irreligious, heathen, barbaric things.

And while you really have never thought of yourself as a barbaric heathen, you must be, because you didn’t get the right answer first.

You’re okay. I’m okay. Just focus on saying the name, “Cumberbatch,” correctly, because a mispronunciation would be most unfortunate.

If you are steeped within 21st century evangelical Christian culture, you may consider the random name dropping of Jesus to be normal, even a sign of the name dropper’s deep spirituality, but I assure you that people outside of the closed group are not drawn to Christianity by this subterfuge.

You casual name droppers? You’re not as subtle as you think.

Several years ago, The Norwegian Artist entertained a small group of visitors in his studio. He’s remarkably laid back about this, and although they gave him ten minutes warning, he graciously set away his brushes and invited them in to tour.

After 45, 46 seconds or so, it became obvious that they weren’t there to view paintings so much as to extract “secret painting techniques” from the Norwegian. (This might be a good time to mention that the Norwegian Artist’s secret painting techniques are these: he reads, thinks, analyzes, loves, laughs, and paints a lot. He gets up when he falls down. He works through problems until he solves them, and he considers failure an integral part of success.)

Color, form, feeling, the human form — you don’t achieve mastery in these areas by a series of cheap, fast “tricks.” Evening Waltz, original oil painting by Steve Henderson

But that’s not what these guests were looking for:

“What do you do with this?”

“How did you get that color?”

“Can you show me how you do that?”

One question, or two, is one thing; 30 minutes worth of questions is an art lesson.

But these people weren’t about to pay for an art lesson. They wanted free, and speaking of free, salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ is free as the Norwegian Artist found out when the guests dropped His name:

“After this, we’re heading to the Joy of Jesus event in Big Town.”

They looked at him sideways to make sure he got the message: Jesus name dropped, we know Him, you’ll want to know Him too.

With a cheery wave in the breeze, the Norwegian Artist sent his guests on. Mesa Walk — original sold, open edition art print available at Light in the Box

All the Norwegian Artist really knew is that five people had spent the last 30 minutes trying to extract free painting secrets from him. He smiled politely, wished them good day, ushered them out, and waved.

Yes, they made an impact. Quite a memorable one, actually.

Just saying the name of Jesus is not the secret of drawing people to Him. If there is a secret, it’s this:

Read, think, analyze, love, laugh and live.

All of the artwork in my articles is by Steve Henderson, the Norwegian Artist, and it may be found at the following links: 

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