Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

I’ve never really been what you might call a big fan of the tv show “Lost.” But I know some folks who are, and if you’re one of them, I have some great news for you. In case you haven’t heard, those people stranded on that island are going to be rescued! Yes, I’m told this will be the last season for “Lost.” Someone’s going to come and save them. And it’ll happen just before summer re-runs begin.

But since I heard that news, I’ve been wondering just who it is that will finally (thank Goodness!) come to save them? Since they’re lost on that remote island on the other side of the world, whoever rescues them will probably get there in an airplane.

What if the rescue plane goes down on another remote island? That’s why we shouldn’t be too surprised if they keep the rescuers’ identity a secret. In true ‘who shot JR’ fashion, they could come back next season with ‘Still Lost,’ or Lost II. And this same show could keep going till it has more roman numerals than the Super Bowl.

You think that’s a far-fetched idea? According to my ‘reliable sources,’ there are some soap operas that have been on tv since folks my age were in short britches. And, could I say, they’re ‘bout as ‘lost’ as the people stranded on that island.

I won’t call any names, but I know some folks who have worn out a pickup truck load of VCR’s just taping those make-believe doctors and nurses walking up and down the halls of that hospital. When they were young, they’d get very restless if the VCR ate the tape. And they’d be so sad if someone’s completely innocent hubby taped a ball game over the home movie of what all her children were up to.

Anyway, back to “Lost’ island. Who do you think will come to rescue them? Will it be one of our boyhood ‘funny book’ heroes? I think they call ‘em comic books today. I’ve even heard some of them are worth a bunch of money to funny book collectors. We would be wealthy today if Mother hadn’t rolled up our funny books to swat flies. Or the behinds of some misbehavin’ country boys.

And if we didn’t goof off while we were supposed to be pickin’ cotton, our folks would let us ride to town with them on Saturday morning. While they were gettin’ groceries at the A & P, we’d be down the street at the dime store browsing through the funny book rack.

Nothin’ better than turnin’ on the radio and hearing The Lone Ranger shout “Hi-Yo Silver, Away,” as he and Tonto rode off to rescue somebody,  while I’m readin’ the latest issue of The Lone Ranger Rides Again. And tradin’ funny books was another game. You couldn’t let your brothers read your new Cisco Kid and Pancho funny book ‘cause then they wouldn’t trade with you. So we had funny books hid all over the house, the barn, and, yes, even the woodshed!

There were other action heroes, too. Even before Superman became a famous movie star and Lynda Carter became famous playing Superwoman on tv. Watchin’ the recent winter Olympics from Canada, I saw the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (without their mounts), and, for some reason, I remembered Sgt. Preston and his dog, Yukon King. Now, what was his horse’s name?

Of course, Lindsay Carter and Lee Majors ‘hooked up’ while performing daring rescues as The Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man. I can also remember not that long ago that our son, Jeff, loved his Spider Man pj’s so much because they had little Velcro patches for him to stick to the wall like his hero. Now, I know I’m gonna be in trouble.

But can you remember Batman and Robin showing up in their Batmobile just in time to rescue somebody in a pickle? And who can ever forget when the movies came callin’ with the Ghostbusters to save the world?

Seems like super heroes have always been around to save folks from their imaginary perils. And is it just me, or does it seem like the world has never needed savin’ more than it does right now? Where real every-day lives too closely resemble those of the cast on the ‘Lost?’

The real tragedy here is that it’s not just actors playing their roles on television. It’s real people out there in a real world who seem to be just wanderin’ around lost, without a clue as to who they can call on to rescue them. The same thing happened when Jesus was traveling around all over the country preaching the Good News and healin’ and savin’ people (Matthew 9:35-36).

When He saw how helpless they were, He had compassion on them, because they looked like sheep that had lost their shepherd. With so many temptations, the sheep are going astray in our world by the millions.

But the good news is that the Savior is still waitin’. And He’s the only one that can rescue us. We can’t do it, but we can point the way to the One who can. But we have to make the call. This world is in desperate need of some operators who can place the call. Remember that old song, “Operator, Operator?” Too many people who might have once had the number wrote it on the wall and now they can’t find it.

And speaking of songs, there was once a talented and gifted lady who turned tragedy into triumph. After being accidentally blinded at an early age, Frances Jane Crosby wrote over a thousand hymns and songs. We know her as Fanny Crosby. And in one of my favorites, she urges us as Christians to tell lost people who they can call to be saved.

The second verse of ‘Rescue the Perishing’ speaks to our world today. It goes something like this. “Tho’ they are slighting Him, still He is waiting, waiting the penitent child to receive; plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently; He will forgive if they only believe.” And then the chorus that we don’t hear nearly enough anymore, “Rescue the perishing, care for the dying; Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.”

You think there’s going to be a party when the ‘Lost’ get rescued on the series finale? It can’t hold a candle to the celebration in Heaven when even one lost sheep (soul) is saved. Luke 15:5-6 talks about the Good Shepherd puttin’ that little lost lamb on His broad shoulders and goin’ to the house. And when He gets there, He calls all his friends and neighbors and invites them to the party.

Are you in a mess right now? Or know somebody who thinks they’re hopeless and helpless? The Lone Ranger is dead and won’t be ridin’ again. Batman and Robin, Superman and the Ghostbusters have all lost their super powers. They don’t even have funny books about ‘em anymore. But there is one Book about One Super Action Hero that has stood the test of time. His name is Jesus and His book is the B-I-B-L-E.

As my grandson, Kirby, wrote in an email the other day, BIBLE stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. Oh, how true! Even now, two thousand years after our Hero left this earth, His Book is still rescuing lost people. If they’ll only believe. But how can they believe in what they haven’t heard?

You have the number. Who you gonna call?