Thursday, November 29, 2012

Given Up???

One of the greatest acts of mercy I have ever heard of came from Iraq. The war in this area of the Middle Eastern country was particularly intense. Of course, there were media present, scribbling observations, talking into a microphone, asking questions. In the midst of the chaos, an American medic runs into the heat of the battle and carries back a wounded soldier. No, wait...not one of ours...he was from the enemy camp! Immediately, the media begins to scream at our medic to abandon his charge to die. Why help him? He's the enemy! He doesn't deserve to live! Furious, the medic gave the media the bird and shouted "#%&@, he's wounded, and we're Americans!" My dad told me this story a few months ago, and as I was praying the other day, the Spirit brought it to my remembrance. As I meditated on this story, it hit me: This is the heart of evangelism. Every time my Encounter peeps and I hit the streets of downtown Minneapolis on Friday nights, we came across people who looked to be without hope. No peace, no joy. Many looked as they had hit rock bottom ages ago. Yet they were still filling themselves with as much marijuana as they could find, hoping to experience the peace and joy they are expecting, only to wake up with massive hangovers the next morning. Steps to Beauty. Our goal was for the girls who attended our sleepovers and conferences to understand the fact that God created them beautiful, and that He loves them--more than anyone else could. Scary to think that our children can be overlooked in our churches. Scary to think that we could lose them later on because we failed to teach them the Word. Even scarier to me is them winding up in a place like downtown Minneapolis on a Friday night, high and depressed, and drunk out of their minds. It breaks my heart to think that many of these are people that the Body of Christ has given up on. "They're beyond hope!" "Don't even try to talk to them!" "They never were saved to begin with!" God hasn't changed though. He is still passionately pursuing them. Even though we were His enemies, He came and took what we deserved, even though He had done nothing wrong! He wants to carry us away just like that medic did. He wants to help and heal us! Why can't more in the Church be like that medic? God never gives up on us; so why should we give up on His creation? I believe that is why ministries like Encounter and Steps to Beauty exist: to carry away the wounded and the desperate. To teach them about the goodness of God, which will eventually lead them to repentance. To rush into the battle and bring back a wounded soul in need of healing, love and compassion. Lord, let me be someone who never gives up on Your people.

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