The LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. – Psalm 121:8
That was written in chalk on the sidewalk as I left my apartment. I didn’t think too much about it at the time. It’s really not that uncommon around here for some church group to write Bible verses on the sidewalk for passers-by to see, though they usually pick more well-known ones.
On the way to lunch I passed a few more. I noticed “Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, for I delight in it. – Psalms 119:35” on a small wall along the sidewalk and smiled at the irony of “Hast thou found honey? Eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it. – Proverbs 25:16” scrawled outside the McDonald’s I ate at. I was a little puzzled as to how they managed to write “But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. – Exodus 14:16” in the crosswalk of a busy intersection, but I had to admire their dedication. All these verses spread so wide, perhaps it was some sort of city-wide event all the churches had decided to do.
My amusement ended when I saw “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. – Matthew 6:19” spraypainted on the front of my office building.
“Hey, you guys see what those Jesus Freaks did?” I asked Jen and Paul as I came back to work. They looked at each other and shrugged.
“They spray painted a Bible verse on the front of the building. Strange that you didn’t see it, they must have just done it right before I got back.” We all shook our heads. The neighborhood sure was going to shit these days.
Seeing “And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. – 2 Kings 2:11” painted on the hood of my car didn’t improve my mood any, especially given the heavy traffic I had to sit in on the way home and the strange looks I got.
But when I saw “And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! This is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven. – Genesis 28:17” painted on my door, it was the last straw. Furious, I called the police. The bored attendant took my statement and said they’d send someone in the morning. Clicking on my E-mail, a message popped up — “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. – Psalms 37:8.” Unknown sender. I hit delete and went to bed, fuming.
The next morning I woke up to find that they had broken into my house overnight. Every possible surface was covered with Bible verses.
I began to go through all the rooms, marking down and noting all the verses I could find. Whoever did this was meticulous. All of the verses were there. Except one. The one that you’d most expect to find.
All the verses written except one. All the surfaces in the house written on…except one. My body.
It was clear now what had to be done. I went to the kitchen and grabbed a knife (“Jesus wept” carved in beautiful ornate script on one side, “- John 11:35” on the other).
Walking into the bathroom, I stood in front of the mirror, shirtless, and began to write.
“For God so loved the world…”