Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"I Was Lost, But You Were in a Hurry"

While cleaning out a box of odds and ends to prepare a place to start my new venture in "couponing", I ran across a devotional booklet I was given at a ladies' retreat many years ago.  It is called Tea with Grandma, Time with God by Mrs. Carol J. Phillips (Mrs. Carol J. Ackerle).  As I flipped through the booklet this entry caught my eye and smote my heart.  How often have I been too busy?

I attended your church this morning.  You wouldn't remember me--I may be eleven or eighty--but I was there--and I was hunting for something--I think I almost found it--I think I would have if you hadn't been in such a hurry.

The choir--even you in the congregation--sang hymns about a loving Lord that made my heart beat faster.  I felt a tight, choking sensation in my throat as your pastor described the condition of a lost person.

"I am lost.  He is talking about me," I said to myself.  "From the way he speaks, being saved must be very important."  I looked about at you in the pews near me--you were listening-you seemed to think the pastor's words were important.  "All these people are so concerned," I thought.  "They want me to be saved, too."

At last the minister finished his appeal and asked you to stand and sing another of the beautiful songs you know so well.  I swallowed a lump in my throat and wished I knew the joy with which you sang.  Then your pastor looked at me and repeated again how I could have this joy--but his words were drowned in a buzzing beside me.

When I glanced around, you were putting on your little girl's coat and telling her to get her things.  I looked on my other side and saw you touching up your lipstick.  Looking in front of me, I saw you frown at your watch as if time were running out.

Suddenly I didn't want to look at any more of you--my eyes burned and my throat hurt--my feet were so tired I couldn't have walked toward the pleading minister. . .You really didn't care.  This salvation the pastor had been telling me about was not important.  You didn't care that I was lost--you only wanted to get away.  I wanted to get away, too--I wanted to run--but I was afraid if I did you would wonder what I was hunting for.

I waited until the service was over and walked out among you--alone--lost.


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