“I was in Berlin shortly after the wall fell,” the retired pastor leaned forward in his seat. He stopped and cleared his throat, his eyes watering, as he described one of the most affecting moments in his life. The wall — or rather, the stub of what was left — was but the width of two bricks. Surrounding it, there were placards. Placards of those who had died trying to cross that wall.
But it was the dates that he noticed most. There were two groups that had dared to cross from East Germany to the West: those under nineteen and those over sixty-five. No one in between.
Why? It was the question on all of our minds.
They had everything to gain and nothing to lose.
“That’s how we have to live.” He wiped away another tear and left the students sitting around his table to muse.
Everything to gain and nothing to lose. How different would my life be if I held to that perspective. Just yesterday, I went on a long run winding out of the neighborhood I live in, past an apartment complex and school to a lake nearby. That morning, I had been asking the Lord to work in me more of a heart for the lost. As I passed the elementary school, an elderly hispanic lady walked past holding two miniature dogs on a leash. She looked up at me for a moment, and I smiled at her. She didn’t smile back, and there was a wrinkled, saddened expression on her face that stuck with me. Oh that this lady would find Jesus! I thought.
I kept running for a few yards and the Lord began to prompt me. Go tell that lady that you are a Jesus follower and see how you can pray for her.
Of course, a thousand excuses came to mind. What if she doesn’t even speak English? It would look silly to turn around. But I’m in the middle of running … The turmoil lasted only a few minutes before I finally sighed and turned around. I guess I’d better obey if I was really serious about my prayer.
But she was already disappearing into the apartment complex.
It is moments like these that I desperately need to remind myself that I have everything to gain — an impact on an eternal soul — and nothing to lose. Christ has given His life for me; is not little acts of obedience like this the least I can do?
Oh that God would burn this lesson on my heart!
Your sister in Christ,