This August will mark eight years since coming home from YWAM and my time around the world. Lately I have been mulling over my time overseas wondering if I really did anything. I keep seeing news reports of terrorist attacks on so many places I love and where friends have been and I start to ask myself, “What was the point?” I personally didn’t see any professions of faith or miracles although I know of teams in my school who saw great things. Then I remember the parables Jesus spoke of about seeking out the lost sheep and going after the one.
So He told them this parable: “What man among you, who has 100 sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open field and go after the lost one until he finds it? When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’ I tell you, in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t need repentance.
Luke 15:3-7 HCSB
That was the point, the one, I may not see how their lives unfold but I will never forget their faces and I will forever pray for them.
These two young ladies are just a small portion of the ones who captured my heart in Jaipur at a VBS we put on. Being in the slums with the Bhat people was something I will never forget. The joy that these kids had in the midst of so little was awe-inspiring. When my kids start to complain that they can’t continue playing on the iPad I remember how the simplest of things brought them such glee.
This girl and her mother were on one of my bus rides in Turkey. Her mother was so incredibly generous to me, she saw that I was a fair-skinned blonde which is often targeted by men and so she stood up and insisted I sit with her daughter so I didn’t have to sit by a man on the bus. To see her heart to protect me was beautiful and this girl, she stole my heart. Although I only knew a few words in Turkish our time was full of smiles and giggles as we played with my camera.
The other woman in Turkey who captured my affection was a shop owner from Selçuk. She was the only lady shop owner and she told Jemma and I stories of abuse she had faced in the community just for being independent thinking. She also asked Jemma and I to pray for her which was an honor. Some of my favorite souvenirs were from her shop. In Cairo the church filled with kids where we put on skits and the room was filled with laughter is something I will never forget. Egypt was a hard place for me, I physically was ill a lot of my time there and there were multiple times where I felt demonic attack nevertheless I fell in love with the land and the people. Only to come home to meet my husband who had spent a prolonged time there shortly before I arrived. When we first married we thought we would move there, who knows maybe one day.
Why do I share all of this? To remind myself that they are the point, the one, the random person I met on the bus, in a shop, at a VBS they were the point of it all. For nothing else than to show them love in that moment. I may not know what impact if any was made this side of eternity but I am grateful I was given the opportunity to go in search of the one.
Maybe the one is the kid at the park who is being obnoxious but really just wants someone to play with, or perhaps the cashier who is huffing and puffing as they scan each grocery item or maybe its your very own kid who in that moment needs you in a different way and you take the time to be who it is they need.
May we always be in search of the one.