Relaymedia

Come and See

Nearly 1000 students at the University of Texas-Austin crammed into a ballroom for a talent show.
( [email protected] ) May 19, 2004 08:44 AM EDT

InterVarsity’s Chinese Bible Study group asked several other campus organizations to be a part of the talent show. Students from The Omegas, an Asian fraternity on campus, KDPhi, an Asian Sorority, and the Korean American Student Association were invited to perform dance routines, vocal acts, and skits.

The most memorable act was a monologue titled nametags, expressing the journey of faith. The title nametags referred to the labels we impose on others and ourselves. The skit began as Rob, a non-Christian student, stumbled onto the stage, eyes closed and arms outstretched. “They say it’s like a restaurant, only you can’t see it. That inside there’s this banquet, a feast, and it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen or tasted. They say once you’ve been to this restaurant, you’ll never be hungry again. And better yet, everyone’s invited. Only your reservation is this thing called faith.” As Rob stood looking out at the audience, he said, “What’s wrong with my eyes? All I know is that when it comes down to it I don’t buy faith. I don’t even think I know how.”

Rob was wearing a nametag. That’s how others identified him. Physical labels are often how we identify others and ourselves. Male, female, Asian, American, tall, or short are some labels we use. Rob had labeled himself “doubter,” because he thought everyone around him had something he was missing. He didn’t think his labels would ever change.

Rob was invited to come and see the truth about Jesus and the Bible. “Come and see what? Was I finally going to see? See what they saw?” he wondered. He tried everything to get rid of his nametag of doubt. He read the Bible; he prayed; he even sang worship songs, but none of these devotional activities seemed real to him. “I guess I am just different. Come and see?” he thought.

At least Rob still had his nametag, “doubter.” “Isn’t it funny how in the end, it’s all I’m left with? The one thing I hated and wanted so badly to get rid of had become the only part of me I knew for certain wasn’t going to change. And now, I am determined never to let it go,” Rob said.

Rob had built up walls and defenses against religion and against God. He was determined not to let anything remotely spiritual get through. Now it would take more than seeing for Rob to believe in God’s existence. He wanted to touch, hear, taste, and smell the presence of God. The walls Rob had built offered him no peace, only loneliness. “But I figured it was better than believing in lies,” he thought.

“Even through these walls, my stronghold of pride and frustration, I heard those same words, ‘come and see,’” Rob said. He fought with every ounce of his strength to keep the message of God’s love out, and soon was fighting back tears. His defenses fell and he lost.

“When God spoke, I felt this peace. This voice that seemed to know every last drop of frustration, anger, hopelessness, and all the broken pieces of my life. And it was so familiar, his voice, like he’d always been there, all along, only I was too blinded to notice him standing there, arms outstretched, inviting me to see, touch, taste, know him,” Rob said.

As the students left the Union ballroom, they were challenged to come and see Jesus. InterVarsity students hope that as they invite non-Christians to Bible studies and to attend chapter meetings, more people will enter into relationships with Jesus Christ. The talent show has energized the InterVarsity chapter at the University of Texas-Austin. Students are inviting their non-Christian friends to come and see what Jesus could mean in their lives.