Dying for Lack of One Smile

Dying for Lack of One Smile

In September of 2000, Kevin Hines was sitting on a crowded bus visibly distraught and wondering if even one person would notice him and ask if he was okay. No one did. He arrived at his planned destination the Golden Gate Bridge. He began the mile and a half walk across the bridge along with hundreds of other people enjoying the breathtaking view atop this beautiful landmark. His emotions were all over the place. As he reached the center of the span, he was caught off his guard when an attractive woman approached him, handed her camera to him and asked if he would snap a few photos of her. Without question, he did.

He handed the camera back to the woman and she turned and without another word, walked away. Kevin watched her leave, then climbed over the rail and jumped off the bridge. His body plunged 25 stories till it struck the cement-like water below. He survived. 

I listened to Kevin tell his heart wrenching story in person at an event intended to inform community care givers how to identify suicidal warning signs among the hundreds of people struggling with undiagnosed mental illness. The overall theme of the event was to help people “Change Direction.”

“I didn’t want to kill myself that day,” said Kevin. “I had to.” He went on to tell how most people who are planning to end their lives often develop a suicide pack with themselves saying things like, “If someone does this, I won’t go through with it.” Or “If anyone says that to me, I will.”

Kevin asked his listeners, “Imagine how it is possible that at this very moment someone could be deciding to end his life based upon whether or not a single person gives them a smile?”

Kevin Hines did not question what he had to do that day, even though it was going to mean falling 225 feet to his death. He knew he must do it. That was his only motive.

Imagine if you and I, with a clear and healthy state of mind, completely set on pleasing our Lord were to exhibit such steadfast determination to do what must be done. No hint of wavering, no bargains, or no looking back!

A disciple who makes “I must do” decisions when called upon to do so by the Lord is demonstrating the highest level of faith, devotion and obedience.

Without a second of doubt or reservation, no consideration for self-preservation or reputation, that disciple is never to be compared with the ordinary garden variety of self-proclaiming Christians.  They are among the few who are willing to lay their lives to the ground in the most special garden of all, Gethsemane .

 

For Consideration

  • Is there something that you have been avoiding that the Holy Spirit has revealed to you is a “MUST DO”?  Are you avoiding it?
  • Take a moment to read how Jesus challenged those who make half-committed statements to follow Him in Luke 9:57-62.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.”  And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.”  Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

In this passage Jesus appears to call people to fellowship with Him in three different areas of life.

1.  Being wholly dependent on the Father’s provision

2.  Living life completely by the leading of the Holy Spirit

3.  Enduring loss to all that this world has to offer      

  • How has following the Lord brought you to a place of deeper fellowship with Him?
  • In what areas have you become more dependent on God’s provision?
  • When have you felt compelled to do something that was essentially destructive, helpful or God honoring?

If you would like to watch Kevin Hines’ complete story you can find it at kevinhinesstory.com.

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Comments

  1. Oh, man, what an amazing thought! When I read, “Imagine if you and I, with a clear and healthy state of mind, completely set on pleasing our Lord were to exhibit such steadfast determination to do what must be done. No hint of wavering, no bargains, or no looking back,” I immediately thought, ‘I want to be that guy!’ Luke 9:51 gives us Jesus’ answer to P. Steve’s question: “When the days were coming to a close for Him to be taken up, He determined to journey to Jerusalem.” Jesus knew what awaited Him in Jerusalem and it really troubled Him too. He said, “I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how great is my distress until it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50) The “baptism” He was talking about was the cross, where He would identify Himself with all of my filthy sins. I love that God’s Word tells us how hard it was – how distressing it was – for Jesus to walk that road to Jerusalem. But that road led to far more than just the city where He would suffer; it led to the very heart of the Father’s will. So, that was Jesus’ answer to P. Steve’s question: “Imagine if you and I, with a clear and healthy state of mind, completely set on pleasing our Lord were to exhibit such steadfast determination to do what must be done. No hint of wavering, no bargains, or no looking back.” I can hear Jesus whisper, ‘Yeah, I can imagine that!’ O Lord, let that be my heart as well. Thank you, Pastor Steve, for a beautiful thought to begin this snowy day!

    • How seldom I think about me being the smile in somebody else’s life. Every moment I have that choice-to bless, to listen, to encourage, to bring Jesus into somebody else’s situation, regardless of what that situation is. With the easy people and situations, it’s easy. With the challenging people in difficult situations, its not so. Emotions, history, baggage gets in the way of a committed and clear, “I will”. How often is it that I come down the stairs in the morning praying, “God use every part of me in every part of this day-I’m yours” and as soon as my feet hit the kitchen floor, I’ve taken me back. A dear sister had to remind me, AGAIN, what compassion and mercy look like…as Pastor Gene said, I echo “Lord, let that be my heart.”

  2. Oh, that I would have that steadfast devotion to the mission!

  3. Many people make resolutions at the onset of a new year. As I entered this year anticipating something new and fresh with God, He compelled me to enter into a fast from one of my lifelong indulgences, shopping, for 90 days. It has been an eye opening and sobering experience. To those who do not struggle in this area, it probably seems silly. However for me, it has revealed a less-than-godly addiction to spending. Looking to that idol to provide a lift to a bad mood, a counterfeit sense of status, identity, satisfaction, even a high, prevented me from looking to my Savior. God’s end game has remained the same since the garden of Eden: trust in Him alone. Thank you Pastor Steve for confirmation of all He is accomplishing. In these first 30 days, He’s bestowed a grace laden contentment upon me. I am experiencing the truth that He is enough.

  4. How seldom I think about me being the smile in somebody else’s life. Every moment I have that choice-to bless, to listen, to encourage, to bring Jesus into somebody else’s situation, regardless of what that situation is. With the easy people and situations, it’s easy. With the challenging people in difficult situations, its not so. Emotions, history, baggage gets in the way of a committed and clear, “I will”. How often is it that I come down the stairs in the morning praying, “God use every part of me in every part of this day-I’m yours” and as soon as my feet hit the kitchen floor, I’ve taken me back. A dear sister had to remind me, AGAIN, what compassion and mercy look like…as Pastor Gene said, I echo “Lord, let that be my heart.”

  5. I pray that I may be sensitive enough to those around me AND to the Spirit, to open my eyes to those around me who may need a word of encouragement.. or just a smile. May we, Lord, be a glimmer of hope and a sense of who YOU are, to those around us.

  6. David Medeiros : January 30, 2018 at 8:09 pm

    Oh, those “must do’s,” an element of discipleship that will be a challenge for those serious about pleasing the Lord and moving to the next level. Many years ago I believe the Lord wanted me to be intentional in greeting people in the prisons, inmates especially in an attempt to reflect the Lord and possibly have an open door to lift up His name. I have to admit that doesn’t happen all the time but when it does on some occasions, it’s a cause for rejoicing. A companion text that P Steve used in beginning of this blog, also is in Luke, 14:25-35, the passage we are using in SS in the study booklet on the Lordship of Christ. I’m also reminded of a statement that Hank Hannegraff said as he closed his radio program, Bible Answer Man,” are you willing to do for the truth what the cults are willing to do for a lie?” Great thought provoking questions P Steve.

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