The Stalker

A stalker lurks in the shadows, watching, listening, intent on learning everything possible about his intended prey.  Words spoken, food eaten, liquids drank, his friends and associates are of utmost interest to a stalker.  Intent on observing every nuance of the victim’s life from a safe distance without giving away his own presence is sufficient for him.   Kind of creepy, huh?  Since I’m neither rich nor famous, I probably will never be the fixation of a stalker.  I can understand why famous people take out restraining orders when they are being harassed by either a crazed fan or a member of the paparazzi.

Jesus had a stalker.  The man’s name was Nicodemus.  Old Nick was captivated by the Healer/Teacher.  He knew the cut of His robe, the length of His hair,  and the tone of His voice, but he didn’t really get to know Jesus until one evening when Nicodemus stopped stalking and came face to face with the Master.  It took a direct encounter with the Savior for Nicodemus to go from stalker to friend.  Thanks Nicodemus for not being satisfied with stalking the Savior but bravely meeting Him face to face on that dark, desert night.  And as a result Jesus spoke the most beautiful and most oft-quoted words in scripture.  “For God so loved the world [you, Nicodemus] that He gave His only Son that whoever [you, Nicodemus and me] believes in Me will not perish [self-destruct] but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 NIV

Occasionally I ask myself, am I ever guilty of studying Jesus from afar–stalking Him, learning everything I can about Him but never daring to meet Him face to face– never walking with Him, laughing with Him, crying with Him?  Knowledge of my Lord’s favorite foods and His favorite style of music do not a relationship make.  Once I call Him my friend; once I hold His hand in mine; once I dance with Him in the moonlight of His grace; I can never again be satisfied merely living on the fringe of His existence as an observer and a stalker.

As long as this earth exists there will be spiritual stalkers, individuals satisfied to study, to memorize, to analyze and to evaluate the elements of the Master’s life and teachings, but meeting Him face to face changes everything.  A stalker will either embrace His love and His friendship or walk away.

 

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