Lately, I have been asking God to break my heart for the lost, and to give me more compassion for random people. I have become so blind; I hardly even notice the people around me. I want to SEE them. I want to CARE about them. I want to CONNECT with them, so I can SHARE with them.
He is answering my prayer.
At first, I didn’t know that He was answering my prayer though.
I thought I was going crazy.
All the sudden I cared more than is “normal” and I felt more concern than would be “expected.”
This had been going on for a few days.
But it all began to make sense yesterday when I met some simple strangers. I met a family. And at first I was preoccupied with a friend of mine that I didn’t even notice them. Typical. But a situation arose, and I found I could be of some small assistance to them. The mom thanked me, and we began to talk. I shortly found out that they are from Dubai. “We have come from a long way.” I nodded. “A REALLY long way.” Oh okay, maybe they are from out of state? “Dubai.” Wow. They were here for their vacation.
She had these two precious, beautiful children. The boy was about 4 and he was so much fun. I was able to spend some time with him; I prayed over him, and I loved him so much that I almost cried. As we parted I wished them well. She took a picture of her son and I. And walking away I realized that in 15 minutes I had developed a strong emotional connection to someone that I will never see again. I was thankful for an opportunity to meet and interact with such beautiful people. I also wished that I had had more time with them, to share with them the love of Christ. Before I left I saw them again, from afar. The little boy looked at me. At that moment, I felt the Lord impress upon me that He has deep love for these people. I immediately began to realize that this was Him answering my prayer–letting me share in this burden He has for the world. Intense, unexplained love, is a gift from Him. It makes no sense, and that is the only way it makes sense.
We know these things though? We all know that God so loved the world. Don’t we? In our heads at least. But how often do we feel the deep movings of our spirits; our hearts yearning for people like He does? I am not currently in a place in my life to travel the world as a missionary. It is not my season, and Lord willing that season will come. I do help to send others. But, I live in a diverse community. I can converse with the people groups of Korea, China, Vietnam, South America, Mexico, Europe, India, and the Middle East–just in my own town. And I often do.
The Melting Pot.
Has God not brought people to the largest Christian nation on the planet? And why, if not for them to hear His Word and be loved?
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34
As I did my running around town this afternoon, I saw people–so many people. I saw a tall young Caucasian man, standing on the sidewalk casting spells. I saw an older Caucasian man on another corner with a sign that said “God is Holy.” There were 2 cantankerous old gentlemen snapping at a food service worker. I heard from an old friend, who is in rehab but says she is doing good, going to church. I saw two African American teens sitting outside the mortuary talking, after a funeral. I saw women, tired after a long day, walking home past a huge statue of Jesus’ mom. I saw streets crowded with cars; people ready to start the weekend. I saw people today. I saw a microcosm. My neighborhood. My neighbors.
And I think that earth today probably looks so different from the day it was created. On the fifth day, we had a green and blue planet. It was clean. And birds were chirping in every tall tree. The sixth day God created man. And almost 6 thousand years later, man has left his smudge on the earth. We have left our mark. Our ruins. Ancient structures, and old boarded up buildings.
Like the Colosseum.
A Wonder of the World–A Great Shameful Tragedy.
Is humanity not just like the Colosseum?
We are fallen.
But we are beautiful.
Filled with sin and violence.
And yet inside all that, there is potential, to stand in the face of fear.
The potential to be brave and martyred.
To cry out for the Holy Spirit to come upon us, and give us boldness.
So that we can LIVE for Him.
So that we can DIE for Him.
So that we can STAND for Him.
As lions charge us,
and the governors threaten to make us human torches.
While the world watches in wonder from their marbled seats.
There is also the Cross.
Did not this structure also have it’s own spectators.
Watching a man die.
Watching God give Himself up for the salvation of all humanity.
I want to cry out to the multitude like the prophet who lost his head,
“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.