If I had been doing what I was supposed to be doing, I would have never seen it.
Driving home from another mundane errand and just wanting to avoid the traffic and get home, I was feeling especially anxious at the “red light enforced” stoplight I found myself at on an ordinary Wednesday. None of my favorite radio stations were playing anything good to sing along to, and I had yet to conquer the insurmountable task of getting my iTunes™ playlist to cooperate with my car stereo.
Of course I should’ve just been paying attention to the stoplight, with hands at 10 and 2, and keeping a steady eye on the road in front of me. But I knew there were far too many interesting things to take in and observe from the scenery around me during my brief stop at the busy intersection. And none of them had anything to do with being a diligent and law-abiding driver.
To the right, a stuffed suit in a Mercedes was having a very animated conversation with someone on the other end of his Bluetooth™ ear piece. I have no doubt that the recipient of his words was thankful they were not in the same room. I offered a quick prayer that they weren’t in the same zip code. Beyond that, a homeless woman was defining her turf to those walking by and questioning it. And at each corner, the paparazzi permanently installed by the state of California flashed brilliantly, ensuring that careless drivers entering the intersection after the red light would receive a souvenir photograph commemorating their traffic sin.
But it was when I glanced to the left at the corner gas station—figuring those filling their pumps would provide some sort of entertainment—that I saw it. Where the curb meets the street—the gutter—and drawn with a thick piece of sidewalk chalk, anyone driving by could read it.
JOHN 3:16
It wasn’t on a billboard, it wasn’t on a bumper sticker, and it wasn’t on a sign being held and tossed in the air by an enthusiastic teenager wearing earbuds.
Nope. It was written in the gutter. JOHN 3:16.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
The verse doesn’t tell us that whoever drives a nice car, or whoever obeys the stoplight, or whoever keeps their gas pump filled at the corner station.
It says “whosoever believes in Him.” No matter where we are, the moment whosoever chooses to believe in Him, whosoever will not perish—but instead, whosoever will have everlasting life. We don’t have to get cleaned up, look good, or act normal. No matter where we are, we can be whosoever and believe in Him.
Whosoever means you. It means me. But it’s also for the suit in the Mercedes, for the one filling his gas tank, and for the traffic violator.
And it’s definitely for whosoever is in the gutter. Because we've all been there.