A Gospel for the Wanderer

Kimberly Reisman

A Gospel for the Wanderer

May 24, 2024
Kimberly Reisman

All that is gold does not glitter,

Not all those who wander are lost;

The old that is strong does not wither,

Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes, a fire shall be woken,

A light from the shadows shall spring;

Renewed shall be blade that was broken,

The crownless again shall be king.

This is a poem from JRR Tolkien’s book, The Fellowship of the Ring. The Fellowship of the Ring is part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I love these books because they contain all kinds of wonderful Christian references and parallels. And yet, one line of this particular poem seems to have become almost a defense mechanism against Christianity: Not all those who wander are lost.

It seems for quite a lot of people, there is a very real need to assert that they may be wandering, but they’re definitely not lost, and no one needs to save them. Bumper stickers proclaim this “not lost-ness” and Pinterest boards are filled with memes about the virtues of wandering.

Jesus instructed us to share the good news to the ends of the earth. If we’re to do that, how do we do it with someone who doesn’t believe they need good news? What does the good news look like for those who are convinced that they aren’t lost at all or believe it’s not the destination that matters but the journey itself? How do we engage those who feel that it’s better to travel well than to arrive?

Interestingly, I think traveling well – especially in a culture like ours – is as important as arriving. And yet, sharing the gospel is about letting people know that eternal life is available through faith in Jesus Christ. That’s a pretty important destination! And all the journeying in the world will count for nothing if people can’t get there.

But if we’re going to get to there and empower others to get there too, how we get there is just as important as actually getting there. So, the question isn’t really what does the good news look like for these wanderers who don’t think they need good news. The question is what will we look like as we share this good news them? How will we journey with them? Will we travel well as we share this good news?

Think about the wanderers in your life. There are probably more than you realize. How are you traveling with them? Are you traveling well? What might you need to do to travel better?

If you want to know more, please check out my Servant School Course: Embrace