The heart is deceitful above all things,
And desperately wicked;
Who can know it?
I, the LORD, search the heart,
I test the mind,
Even to give every man according to his ways,
According to the fruit of his doings.
~ Jeremiah 17:9-10 ~
My roommates and I were living in a building that was in skid row. When I looked out the windows I saw people destitute of life milling about burning trash cans and on the streets. The buildings were dilapidated; the sidewalks and streets were littered with trash.
A command came from somewhere, to seal up the house. Exterior iron windows slammed down beside the glass ones and every entry was likewise secured. I found a small opening and looked out. It was night and beyond me was a large white net through which I could see the empty street. I closed it quietly.
It was silent for awhile, then we began hearing things. People began banging on the windows and doors, crying, begging, “LET US IN! LET US IN!” But we could not; we were sealed in. Their screams horrified us and at the same time brought tears to our eyes because they had refused to listen to the message we had shared with them about Jesus Christ. Somehow, I knew that was the reason they were locked out and in torment.
A few nights after this dream, a group of us went to a Los Angeles skid row rescue mission to share Jesus. It was a dismal sight. The buildings were old and worn, as were the people that loitered around them. Ragged men slept on the sidewalk, others walked about, and some stood around a metal trash can that was burning.
Inside more disheveled men, dissipated through drink and other things, sat quietly on benches, wearing rumpled, soiled, stinking clothes. My heart broke at the sight of these men who were lost in darkness. I knew men who were drunkards, but could not understand the power that alcohol had over them. I only saw the resulting damage to their lives, their families, and to their bodies.
I looked about the room and saw the windows — they were the same as in the dream! The dream and the scene before me merged into one. My heart started pounding as I stood there, stupefied, before the men. I wondered how many would really hear and listen to the message of life and how many would choose life over death. The only thing I could do was pray.
That night solidified my desire to share Jesus with everyone I met or knew. Since then, that desire and fervor has cooled. Oh, Lord, forgive me! Help me to cast off timidity and fear of rejection, and share the Good news of Jesus Christ and His love for the world. Help me to remember that those who are without Jesus, upon death, are not allowed to enter into God’s kingdom, regardless of how loud and how long they cry out, “LET ME IN! LET ME IN!”
Father, give us a heart for the lost and the love with which You love them. Give us ears to hear the quiet and the loud cries of the lost; and eyes to look beyond ourselves and see them. Help us Father, to be active in fulfilling Your Son’s command to, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In Jesus’ name, amen.