At the end of seven days the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me….Eze 3: 16-19
My granddaughter calls me "Doc".
Unlike most of the pretty girls I grew up with, she actually enjoys my company. Nearly two years old, she sees the entire world through eyes of discovery.
Last night I took my kids out to dinner before I left for a mission trip. When dessert time came, I took Elaina outside so the others could relax and enjoy a moment of adult conversation.
Across the restaurant drive was an island of flowers, so Elaina and I practiced holding hands and looking for cars as we repeatedly enjoyed the trip to the flowers. Handholding was definitely contrary to her independent nature but she grudgingly let me grip her fingers during each trip. There was one moment I looked up at a noise from the restaurant and she broke for the curb. No problem, I reached out and stopped her, just as a car whizzed by. There was never any real danger; but the next day, as I remembered the event, I shuddered.
Do you ever think of "witnessing for Christ" as a religious act you complete like an item on a checklist entitled, "How to please God?”
As I head to Albania for the 17th time, I wonder if it's worth it all.
If my witness to those doctors on the Adriatic is simply a religious duty, I’m sure it’s not.
If, however, God has given me the responsibility to hold Albanian hands across a treacherous road of life to meet their Father; and, if I really believe that stepping into life on their own means their destruction; and, if I really love them, then 17 trips is nothing. If I understand the truth of life, these mission trips are not just a check in a box to make God smile. Just like words of life spoken to my colleagues at home or to my students or patients or the neighbor next door, my witness for Christ on this mission is much less like a check mark and much more like a hand held out to a little girl who calls me “Doc" and wants to touch the flowers on the other side.
Give me your heart for your lost children.