When I was a little girl, I felt sorry for people who weren’t Christians. Most of the people I knew were Christians, and it seemed that those who weren’t lived a lonely, frustrating life. Though I had to be by myself sometimes, too, I knew that I was never really alone, that I would never have to feel lonely in my heart like they did because Jesus would keep me company, warm my heart from the inside out, and remind of good things like Heaven and the fact that God would set everything bad in the world right someday.
People who didn’t know Jesus didn’t have that, and I wanted it for them, so much so that I shared Jesus as often as possible. My sister and I made it our mission to make sure that our friends knew about Jesus so that they could be included in God’s family. We loved our friends and wanted to take them with us to Heaven, so we told our friends how to give their hearts to Jesus at our house, at slumber parties, and other places. Many of them did.
I didn’t even care if people thought I was weird. In fact, I’m not sure the thought occurred to me until I was in high school. Even then, even when I was in the middle of what I know now was a rebellious period in my life, I didn’t hesitate to use phrases like “God told me” and “the Bible says.” If people didn’t like it, they never said so. On the contrary, they seemed mildly to moderately interested in what I had to say, almost like they were holding their options open even if they weren’t quite ready to trade in their right to themselves for the salvation that I had.
Things are a little different now. I’m more aware of the fact that being a Christian puts me in the minority, and it’s a little more of a struggle on the inside for me to stand up and say what the Holy Spirit lays on my heart sometimes. I guess I care more than I should what people think.
But I still feel sorry for people who aren’t Christians. It isn’t a judgmental kind of sorry, but the kind of sorry that I feel when I see a woman being mistreated by her husband in public. I don’t think less of her or look down my nose at her. I simply wish that I could help in some way, release her from any obligation to the husband that obviously doesn’t love her as much as he probably claims, if at all. But that’s not my place. My hands are tied, and I’m sure it’s more difficult to break free from that kind of relationship than I could possibly imagine.
Here’s the good news. There IS something I can do for the people I see in bondage to the Enemy, those who are slaves to sin, the same sin that would have control of me right now if Jesus hadn’t set me free, the same sin that tempts me every single day like an illicit lover, trying to make me forget Whose I am. All I have to do is speak the Truth of the Gospel. All they have to do is give up what they know for what they’ve been promised.
That’s where my hands are tied.
All I can do is say it and, with the Holy Spirit’s help, live it. How others choose to respond to God is up to them; how they choose to respond to me is up to them as well. They may think I’m weird, loving someone I can’t see, putting my faith in an invisible God to save me, and working so hard to please Him when all I ever seem to do is fail and open myself up to public criticism. They may pull away. They may become angry or frustrated with me for reasons they can’t explain. They may even lash out, which has been the case most recently, but it really doesn’t matter.
I still have to share.
I don’t want them to be lonely anymore. I want them to be my brothers and sisters and have Heaven and a perfect world to look forward to when they are feeling discouraged, but most of all, I want Jesus to warm their hearts from the inside out.