Sunday, February 27, 2005

I will pray tonight...

So it is 1:00 in the morning and I have to be up in six hours to get ready to preach a sermon. It is the third sermon in my series on the book of Ruth. So far God has truly blessed this series and I believe He is doing mighty things with it. With that said, the obvious questions is, "Why am I not in bed?" The explicit immediate reason may be that my sheets are currently in the dryer, however, I also feel compelled to write tonight.

I went to a Chinese buffet with my fiancee and some buddies tonight. I went up to the buffet counter to get my food and on my way back I noticed twin little boys eating with their mom and two other women. The feeling that went through me is difficult to describe. The boys could not have been any older than six or seven. They were absolutely adorable and it broke my heart. I have twin brothers myself who were once that age. When I saw those little boys it was as if the Holy Spirit descended upon my shoulders and began to speak to my heart. Their mother held a cigarette in her hand and the other two women were smoking as well. I do not mean to say that smoking is inherently sinful as I do not believe that it is. But something struck me.

It was not that they were smoking which struck me, it was...well I am not sure what it was. But I do know that I felt an incredible ache for these boys, a desire to stop by their table and ask if I could spend time with them during the week. I didn't, but I began to wonder where these little boys would end up in life. The town where I attend college is quite run down. It has a low socio-economic status and the sad fact is that children are not given much of a chance here. Would these boys graduate from high school? Would they meet women and marry and raise families? Would they find a career that they enjoyed doing? Would they have a relationship with Jesus Christ? I don't know the answer to any of these questions but I do know that I still feel an ache in the deepest regions of my heart.

So the Spirit began to touch my heart and I realized how wrapped up in myself I truly am. This past week we had midterms and I spend countless hours studying and writing papers. Why did I not take a break to go and talk to one of the guys in my unit? Why did I put my studies before relationships? Which will have more eternal significance? I think the answer is clear, but nonetheless I chose to study. I did well on my midterms because of it, but it seems to me I could have done just as well and taken perhaps an hour or two away from studying to spend time with people.

The community I am in is much in need of people willing to give of themselves in order to benefit the people who live here. As Christ said, no servant is greater than his master, and therefore it is the calling of every Christian to have the heart of a servant. The Holy Spirit showed me tonight that I have the opportunity to impact lives before I leave this city. The lives of children, the lives of the aged, the lives of those wondering where they are supposed to be in this life. God loves the people here who daily are fighting for a warm place to sleep and food to give to their children as much as he loves those of us here who will go to bed tonight in our comfortable dorm rooms with electricity, water, heat, and warm blankets. The question is not, "God how can you let this happen to people?" but rather, "Ben, how can you let this happen to people?"

So as the others in my dorm will lay their heads down tonight on their soft mattresses and fall asleep under their warm blankets, I will fall down on my knees and I will pray for those little boys. They deserve at least that.

No comments: