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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?

~ Brent Hoover 胡牧
Ann Arbor Michigan, 2024

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