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他是个基督徒,但又是独行客。外表强悍,内心 无情, 随时准备与挑战他 的人争斗。 他以为人生本如此,因为自他年幼时起,生活就是 这样教他的。 由于父亲的缺失,他形成 了“男人只能相信自己”的思想。

他认为女人不过就是为了满足他的需要,因此他从未向她敞开心扉, 真正地向她示爱。他认为孩子不过就是要遵命努力,他如此这般地挑战自己的孩子们,却完全忘记了他们最大的需要,是来自他们父亲的拥抱。 他认为生命就是独来独往,因此对别的可能也毫无期待。他就应该孤独着,独立自主地生存着。

他不应期待什么喜乐或去寻找喜乐。他不应陷于儿女情长。 他应单单地为他的事业而战。他相信 “上帝与他同在”,那就可以了。他可能在教会进出,他也可能向全能的主低过头,但他却不与主亲近,他不相信与天父接近的可能性,因为他从未与他地上的父亲亲近过。他不想自己失望。

是的,他很强悍,他也能立足于世。然而这就是生命的目标吗? 他相信他的目标,就是在夕阳中骑着他的马, 独自地远去。

主耶稣却是个完全不同的男人。他用他的双手努力做他的木匠活,但他的心是柔软谦卑的。 他也看到人世间的种种纷争,但他的眼目对 那些苦难中的人充满着同情。 他知道天父的真理并向人传讲,他永远愿意拥抱,去爱每一位不完美 的人,甚至那些因罪远离他的人。他爱世人,甚至到一个地步,仍深爱那 些拒绝他的人。

他被喜乐充满,同情充满他的心。他对不公不义愤慨。他也有感到 悲痛忧伤的时候,痛哭在他朋友的墓前。主耶稣想要也需要朋友。 在夕阳中与 门徒们同行。门徒们的见证就是主耶稣爱他们的见证。


~ Brent Hoover 胡牧
Ann Arbor Michigan, 2024

The Loner Cowboy.

This is the kind of man we do NOT want to become.

He’s a Christian, but he’s alone. Tough exterior. Emotionless. Ready to fight with anyone who challenges him.

He thinks this is how life should be, because this is what life has taught him since he was a young boy.

He learned that his father would not be there for him so a man needs to trust no one.

He learned that a woman is there to satisfy his needs, and so he never opens up to her and truly shows his love to her.

He learned that kids are to obey and work hard and that’s how he challenges his own children, forgetting that the most important thing they need is the father’s embrace.

He learned that life is a lonely experience and so he should expect it to be that way. he should be a loner, independent and a survivor.
He shouldn’t expect joy or look for joy. He should not connect with his feelings.

He should simply just fight for his cause. And he believes “God is with him” and so everything’s OK.

He might float around church. He might bow his head to the Almighty. But he does not draw close to God, because he doesn’t believe it’s possible to be close to him as Father because he was never close to his own father. And he doesn’t want to be disappointed.

Yes, he’s tough. And he will survive. But is that the goal of life?

He believes his goal is to ride off into the sunset, alone.

But Jesus was a very different man. He worked hard in carpentry with his hands, but his heart was soft. He saw violence, but his eyes were full of compassion towards others who were suffering.

He knew God’s truth and he taught the truth, but he was always willing to embrace and love imperfect ones and those who lived sinful lives far from God. He loved people — even to the point of loving those who rejected him.

He felt joy surging through him. He felt compassion filling his heart. He felt anger at injustice. He felt sadness and sorrow, and he cried at his friend’s tomb.

Jesus wanted and needed friends. He walked into the sunset not alone but with a group of disciples.

He poured his heart into them and their lives turned the world upside down. Their testimony about walking with him was that they were loved by Jesus.

So, what kind of man do you want to be?

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