Scatterin’ the Lost with the Jesus Stick

by Kevin on January 6, 2011

They were so close! The cows and their calves were just fixing to go in the pen when Jimmy drove up. If I would have known what he would do in the next three minutes, I would have tied him up with duct tape and threw him in the back of the truck as soon as he got there.

There had only been two of us gathering this small pasture. We didn’t have any trucks or trailers. We had rode over from headquarters to try to pen some cattle we had missed.

There were about ten head and they were wild as cougars and twice as mean. Me and my partner had spent about three hours slowly coaxing these mavericks up to the pens. We’d had four runaway stampedes and I was bleedin’ from about thirty-two places on  my face from going through mesquite after them.

Our horses were played out, the cattle were tired, and we had spent the better part of the day tryin’ to accomplish this task and the end was in sight. We never pushed the cattle very hard. As a matter of fact, we didn’t really try to gather them at all. We just tried to stay in between them and where we didn’t want them to be.

Our horses stood side by side as we visited from the saddle. The cattle were trying to figure out if our plan was to get them in the pen. You could tell they thought this, but at the same time, we weren’t running in behind them trying to force them anywhere. We were just sitting over there visiting.

The cattle were tired from all the running they had done. Right in the middle of these pens was a big water trough that would fill their need for nourishment. Still, the cattle fought this need with skepticism over what these two cowboys were trying to pull on them.

We heard a truck comin’ and turned around to see Jimmy drivin’ up. The cattle just stood there by the gate and a few were really lookin’ at that water. I’ve seen that same look in my kids’ eyes when they spot the toy aisle at Wal-Mart.

Jimmy got out of the pick-up and asked us what we were doing. We told him the problems we’d had tryin’ to get these cattle in the pen, but it looked like they would go in pretty soon.

“Y’all should have let me know!” Jimmy said. “I could have come out and given y’all a hand.

We thanked him for his offer as he walked over to his truck and got something out from behind the seat. Both of us were still watchin’ the cows who were watchin’ us. What we should have been doin’ was watchin’ Jimmy.

I seen it comin’ and there was absolutely nothing I could do to stop it. My guts figured it out before my brains did. Jimmy had got his sortin’ stick out and was walkin’ towards the cattle.

The cattle turned to face him and I remember yellin’, “Nooooo!!!!”

Jimmy started runnin’ at the cattle trying to scare them through the gate. He was screamin’ like a mad man and wavin’ his stick around his head like a light-saber.

Every one of those cattle ran right over the top of Jimmy. We watched as they disappeared right into the brush that we had worked so hard to get them out of.

Scatterin’ the Herd with the Jesus Stick

As a preacher, I get so frustrated sometimes when I am standin’ around talkin’ to some cowboys. I try to visit with these folks and I am generally tryin’ to steer the conversation towards invitin’ them to church. It usually happens right when I have them standing at the gate. I can tell that the moment is fixin’ to come where I will invite them to church and I know they will come.

That’s when a “Jimmy” comes in wavin’ his Jesus stick and scatters them to the brush.

He says something like, “Hey!! If y’all want to be rid of all that skirt chasin’ and beer drinkin’ sinful lives y’all been living, y’all need to come to church with us!”

All I see is the dust trail.

How to Pen the Lost and Show Them Christ

There is a need built into all of us that is searchin’ for happiness and acceptance. People try to find this in money, sex, drugs, gossip, and nearly everything else you can think of. The only thing that will make people happy and fulfill them is a relationship with Christ.

It’s kind of like that drink of water the cattle wanted so bad. They had been runnin’ away for so long and then they were close enough to smell it. Sometimes with the real wild ones, you just got to get them close and then let them discover it for themselves.

You can’t scream and holler and wave your Jesus stick and scare them into Christ. It just doesn’t work that way.

Show them where the happiness and fulfillment is. It’s not in a church building. It’s in your own life. Be patient. Be friends. Be kind. Be happy. Be generous. Just be there for them and when the time is right, they will find him and then you can shut the gate.

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  • Carla Helms

    That’s one of the best ones, Kevin! Soooooooo true!

  • I know one guy who referred to the Jesus stick as a Jesus Shotgun. For some reason people thought they could load up with enough Jesus buckshot and just start shooting people until they either were full of Jesus or at least accepting him. Most times they just turned tail and ran.

    • Kevin

      I appreciate these people’s enthusiasm, but this is literally a matter of heaven or hell.

  • This is especially important in today’s culutre when so many people are skeptical of the Church and Christianity to start with. The worst thing any of us could do is let other know how bad they are and give them a good smackin’ for it.

    Be patient my brother and be diligent.

    • Kevin

      I agree Larry. When we take an interest in the lost’s lives with a sincere heart, that’s when they will start to see the love of Christ. You’ve got to get to know someone before they’ll listen to you.

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