It is amazing to me how often we all can look at the same things and see only within our own limited perception. Take the men that Janet and I often minister to. Most people only see bikers that are weekend riders, others see what we used to call “thugs” and misfits. If you look closely you will see a deeper culture that is totally foreign to most Americans even though it is right here in the middle of them. A culture that is a small percentage of Americans, but a culture that millions are dabbling in the hedonistic portion without understanding all of the culture. Although it may seem perverted, there is an entire honor system with true bikers. They have a respect and loyalty to one another that would rival what the church should be. And they honor those of faith who live it out and are not phony. Phony is just not accepted in this culture. Yes there is major immoral behavior and you can get hurt entering this culture and not playing by their rules, but should we be surprised that the unsaved would be immoral? When I look at these guys I see so much potential that others seem to not see. Just like the high line wires. It is there, they just do not see it through their lenses.
For inmates, many only see them from having seen prison movies or something like that. We see men just like the rest of us that have made mistakes. In the prisons, we have ministered to bankers, lawyers, head high school coaches, and even preachers. Often they are actually more open to the gospel than church people.
Because I do see this, my heart breaks for them. I care for them as much as anyone I ever pastored when I was a pastor. I cry when I intercede for them. I rejoice with them when they have a victory. I am moved with compassion for these tattoed up men, just as you are when you see the starving orpans in a missionaries presentation. These are the lenses God has given me, and I am as thankful for seeing this way as I was as a third grade boy seeing highline wires for the first time.