He was imposing – several inches taller and wider than I am – and every muscle seemed tensed, as if he was ready to resist whatever I planned to do to him. I had only questions, however. How old he was, school, family. At first his answers came in short staccato bursts, but gradually he relaxed and shared his story. He went into foster care as a toddler, then adopted, but by then he was damaged. Depressed. Angry. Years in and out of mental institutions and juvenile halls – now his adoptive family wanted nothing to do with him. I worried about him. I wondered where he would go for help. Who would he call? Old friends from the neighborhood? Birth family? The ones whose rights were terminated a decade ago?
I was surprised. “You have a pastor?” He nodded, and sat up a little straighter and with more pride. “Yes. He will help me. He believes in me. He’s working to develop me into a leader.”
May the Church not get distracted maintaining ministry, running programs, writing books, or scrambling for a spotlight, only to forget that our true great commission occurs when we interact with one. One broken life. One hopeless mom. One addicted dad. One lost kid.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine who are righteous…”
Luke 15: 4-7 (NLT)