In 1967, Jim Morrison and the Doors sang what would become a popular and enduring song: People Are Strange.

Indeed.
I have met some of them.
To some, I probably am one of them.

People are strange.
Aren’t we all?

Aside from the debate over who is strange and why they are, the lyrics themselves are haunting. As you read them, I wonder if you hear the echoes of the Gospel?

People are strange when you’re a stranger

Faces look ugly when you’re alone

Women seem wicked when you’re unwanted

Streets are uneven, when you’re down

When you’re strange

Faces come out of the rain

When you’re strange

No one remembers your name

When you’re strange

When you’re strange

When you’re strange

Purportedly, Jim Morrison was in the grips of depression when he wrote those lyrics.

I can believe it because I hear the loneliness and alienation. I hear it because I have been there…

So what does the Gospel have to do with it? What does the Gospel have to do with life lived on the ragged fringes?

Everything!

If you will allow me to define the Gospel more broadly, it is so much more than the last few chapters in any of the Gospel stories. In fact, it is more than the first four books in the New Testament.

The Gospel is the story of God. It is everything He has done and continues to do for the redemption of man! That’s a broad definition, but it encapsulates all of God at work in the lives of humanity–especially for those on the fringes—outcast, alienated, and alone.

Especially.

The story.
Yes, the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection–the story hinges on those pivotal events. But it is so much more…

The Gospel is your story too.

It’s your story as salvation envelopes you, gives new meaning to your existence, and invites you to be a participant–to share this story that is your story that is the story of God.

Do you remember reading of the sadness, grief, pain, and tears of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane? Can you feel and grasp the loneliness and alienation of Jesus as He cried out on the Cross?

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

(Matthew 27:46 HCSB)

 

When Jim Morrison wrote those words of despair and pain, there is a Savior who understood and understands still.

That’s the Gospel.

Out of the pain, anguish, and ragged fringes of Jesus’ life we find not only our redemption, but also an answer to the suffering of this world.

Have you embraced, hugged, and grabbed the Gospel for yourself?
Then be the Gospel.
Be the story–someone on the fringes of life needs you to be!

Les Ferguson, Jr.
Madison/ Ridgeland, MS