Last Saturday morning, as I was walking to school, I was listening to a Francis Chan podcast titled "Christ Centered Relationships". I'm a big fan of Francis Chan, and have been listening to his podcasts since I saw him at Passion 07. I really got slapped in the face by something during this message though, by something that I don't think was really intended to be part of the sermon.
He's telling a story about a conference he was just speaking at. After he spoke, he had several youth pastor's coming up to him telling him stories of some of the students they brought with him. One of the students was a boy that the pastor said he "snuck in". The boy was too young to be at the conference, but the pastor really wanted him there. A year before the conference, the boy found the body of his father who had just commited suicide. Two weeks prior to the conference, while at a family function, that same boy watched his mother be pulled off of his little brothers as she was stabbing them, and then watched her kill herself. Thinking back now, I dont even remember why he told this story. All day I kept thinking about that boy. I hear these tragic stories all the time and just hear them as stories, and forget that these are real people. That boy is still living and breathing right now (or is he?) dealing with where his parents have left him. I prayed for that boy all day. I still pray for that boy everytime I think about him. It frusterates me that I don't know who he is. I want to find him and help him and establish a relationship with him, and just be there for him.
I think this is a common theme though. All too often when someone I know is dealing with something I'm quick to offer prayers, but not quick to offer my time and my friendship. I also feel like after I think that their problem is sufficiently resolved, my job is done. Then I think back to that boy, I'm sure that he has Christians establishing friendships with him, but where does that excuse stop? At what point do I take responsiblity and iniative to be Christ in people's lives? Did God only allocate the people I work with as my responsibility? My family? My church? My neighborhood?
There's so many people in this world, and we all need Jesus. Who's job is it to spread the word, and to whom do we spread it?