Meet the Author - October 25, 1994 

When I was eight, I had a crush on a girl in my neighborhood. You remember that, those hidden crushes that no one can know about. What if people found out? The horror!

I'll tell you though, I used to walk all the way past Margery Road, the long way, just to walk by her house. But if I saw her, oh the embarrassment. Quick, Mark, what are you going to do? You can't admit that you like her, so what do you say? "You're a creepy-ugly-boogie-face!" Remember that? Remember pretending to hate someone who you were really interested in? Aren't people funny?

You know, I've learned that this often-times works backwards. In many cases, what we are so outrageously against, we sometimes are secretly interested in. But like with the crush, we hide it because we don't want anyone to know; the horror. But we're not eight anymore; we're older and we're much better at hiding our interests. Sometimes we even hide them from ourselves.

I wear glasses, so it's difficult for me to wear sunglasses, unless I get prescription ones. I remember pricing them once and the saleslady asked me how I wanted them tinted. "If you want to see the sky darker, get these blue tints." "Do you like sunsets? You can get this reddish tint." And it occurred to me, we may not wear tinted glasses, but on a deeper level, don't we all see through tints? I mean, don't we all see the world with extra blue, or extra red, depending on our own likes?

If you've been reading these articles very long, then you know where I stand on issues. I hold back no punches, and I tell it like it is. You can disagree, but with me, you know what it is you're disagreeing with. I don't have a different answer depending on the crowd. I tell it like it is. And this has been bothering people.

I've noticed that many people are utterly offended by the Christian message, and some by my articles. They don't think it should be talked about. They think God is out-dated and taboo. Just don't mention it; the horror!

You know, I used to throw snowballs at the girl I had a crush on. I used to call her house and hang-up on her when she answered. I used to throw her books on the ground. I didn't actually say it, but I was utterly and completely intrigued by her, and it bothered me. It bothered me that I would be interested in such a gross thing; I mean, when you're eight, aren't girls gross?

But I grew up and now I actually like women. You see, I've removed that tint which saw females as disgusting. And you know what happened, I discovered that what I thought was taboo became one of the most amazing things one could experience in this life. Aren't people funny? So you may think that the Bible is gross and something not to talk about. Perhaps you're offended by it. Maybe you write it off by saying things like, "Oh, there's so many interpretations," when you've never even read it to find your own interpretation. Check it out for yourself. But I don't blame you if you find it boring. Here's why.

Picture this. You buy a book and start reading it. Yeah, it's okay, but kinda boring. You don't really like it, so you put it down. Not very interesting.

Later, the author of the book comes to town and you get to meet him/her and get his/her autograph. He/She tells you stories of how the book was written. You learn about the author, and you think he/she is the coolest person ever. Maybe you even get to have pizza with the author.

You know what happens as soon as the author becomes real to you? You rush home and read that book cover-to-cover. You can't get enough of it. It's your favorite book. A tint had been lifted and you see it different than how you saw it before.

It's the same way with the Bible. The Bible is God's love letter to us. It contains God's salvation message, recipe's for living, and it's stamped approved by the cross of Christ. I remember looking over it once and finding it dull and silly. But you know what, I met the author. I found Christ in my life. Jesus doesn't go anywhere where he's not welcome, so I welcomed him into my life. Now I'm loving reading his words to me. Now I love checking out what God has to say to me. Now it's not a taboo subject. Now I'm not ashamed! Now I don't have to pretend.

So to whoever is reading this in disgust. To those who read this every week wondering how I could say such things: why do you read this every week? Oh, and by the way, you're free to call me (862-8427) if you want to discuss what I write about. I promise I'll try to be nice.

Please ask yourself this: Why did I walk out of my way past the girl's house? Perhaps it's time for you to remove some tints and discover something amazing. Maybe if you find the Bible offensive, or boring, maybe it's time for you to meet the author. It's easy to get his attention. Just pray. It's just like the old saying, "If you feel far from God, guess who moved?"