Since the start of the pandemic, I have been making weekly videos. These began as a means to connect with the people in the congregation I was then pastoring. People were isolated, and isolation is a difficult thing for all of us.
For weeks, these were encouragement videos. I noticed, because Facebook is such an international vehicle there were friends from around the world watching them. Then, further into the pandemic, I decided to begin to produce a Bible story each week. At this point, I have produced 67 videos online. If you are on Facebook, you can find the archive here.
For a long time I was doing Facebook live videos, but then discovered I could just make the videos on my phone and post them to both Facebook and YouTube. So now, I also have some of the same Bible Story videos on my YouTube channel.
A couple weeks ago, on a Facebook post a dear friend of ours in Canada wrote, “Caleb told me, ‘I wish the videos were longer.'”
I was blessed by this response. I have tried to keep them brief — usually around 5 minutes. But the one he wanted to be longer was about 11 minutes. So, for him, this past week, I made a longer video. I asked more questions, paused and discussed the passage with Caleb, imagining what he might be thinking. The video lasted 41 minutes. It’s on my YouTube channel. It was a blast.
Now, you need to meet Caleb.
Like his forefather Caleb, the mighty warrior who followed the Lord wholeheartedly, and who at 85 said, “I’m as strong now as when I was 45,” and went to take new territory, Caleb has fought incredible battles.
He was born with the need for a heart transplant which occurred when he was about 18 months old. Until then, he battled to stay alive with an ailing heart. On top of daily struggles with food sensitivities, which severely limited his diet and what his mom could eat while she was nursing him, 18 months ago, when he was 7, he developed cancer due a virus caused by the anti-rejection drugs given for his heart.
His little body was riddled with tumors.
For months the family camped with him over one hundred miles from their home in the hospital and at the Ronald McDonald House as he received one aggressive chemo treatment after another. Remarkably, after months of treatment, he not only survived but eventually was thriving.
By the time the lockdown began, he was home again and highly susceptible to illnesses.
His mom and dad are these incredible prayer warriors themselves. They have prayed, loved and stood by Caleb valiantly. What a challenge such journeys are upon the one ill and those who walk with him, including his other three siblings.
But Caleb, this mighty warrior loves God and God’s word. I would imagine he has had encounters with Jesus most of us would love to have ourselves. His character has been forged through suffering, for Paul tells us, suffering produces perseverance and character and hope within a person (Romans 5:1-5).
Yesterday, his mom wrote to say he watches one of my videos every night. She wrote:
“He hopes you will make one for all the stories in the Bible.”
That will keep me going!
I think for the upcoming months when I make a video, I will be thinking of Caleb, this mighty warrior, watching before he sleeps.
I put many things “out into cyberspace” not knowing who might watch or read them. Sometimes, I’ve received texts or comments from people impacted. But it reminds me:
Much of life is for the one not the many.
Jesus lived that way, he’d stop for the one — the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, the man born blind, the chief tax collector. It is good to remember this in this life of applause and subscribers.
It’s not about the many, it is about the one. “Brian, one million subscribers means nothing. They can be gone in a moment,” a friend told me. Her husband’s DIY channel had over one million subscribers, until his partner mishandled funds, and overnight, bankrupt, had to shut it down. Those subscribers disappeared.
As you are living your life, remember the importance of the one, the lonely soul sitting on the street corner, the checker helping you with your groceries, the teller at the bank, the person next to you at the bus stop. Live to love the next person in front of you. And daily, in front of my heart, will be this mighty Caleb as I serve God in this simple way.
Remember the One…