Today my heart is breaking. Not because anything bad is happening in my life, but because I’ve discovered the spiritual status of an old friend isn’t what I thought it was. For all I know, it’s always been his spiritual status, and I totally missed it. My heart grieves for a soul now lost, one that I may have been able to play a key role in leading to salvation if my heart and mind had been in the right place at the right time.
I know I should post these heartfelt posts more often. I vow to do so. But for today, I need to get this out.
He and I weren’t close friends, just acquaintances. I knew where he lived. Once he borrowed a karaoke tape from me. We were in choir together, sang a duet at our own high school graduation ceremony. I’m pretty sure he attended some youth group events with the local Baptist church; that wasn’t my home church, but I attended there a few times with a friend or boyfriend.
Here’s the thing – as a kid, I just had this inexplicable heart assumption that most of the kids in my immediate community were all Christians. They by-and-large all came from church-going families. They all had a foundation. Most of them had probably made professions of faith… or been confirmed in their church through a child education program.
But it was my mistake to assume that they all had the faith of salvation, that they had an understanding of who Christ was, who He was for them, and who they were TO Him. I’m not sure I understood all of that at the time – in fact, I know I didn’t have all of that completely straight – but I had more than enough of a foundation, more than enough faith, more than enough where-with-all to lead someone to Christ. I did some witnessing to a few of the “bad” kids – in a principal’s office, on the bus, after school, during breaks at band practice. I remember those kids and those conversations. I’m sure that there was an after effect from each of those conversations in their lives, whether they chose that path or not.
I know I could’ve talked to him then. I just didn’t have the awareness, the ability to look outside of myself and seek out these opportunities, to catch as many of them as I could have – as I should have.
And no, I won’t let guilt and condemnation settle in my heart over it. And for this particular person, I’ll be pressing in and praying, and asking God for the salvation of his soul and that God would send this guy someone that he truly trusts to lead him into the grace and knowledge of Christ.
But I want to do better with my kids. I want to train them to be aware of others in their surroundings, aware of every opportunity to share Christ. I’m not sure my parents didn’t do that, though. I’m not sure it’s enough. Some of it is just maturity, and personality, and all the things I dealt with at the time.
And then, the naysayers, they tell me that my kids should be in the public schools as a witness to others there. I was THE person who could have done that, should have, and DID, more than once. But I didn’t have the maturity to do all I should have. It wasn’t up to me to be that at the time. I was still learning, still growing, still maturing. If all they say is true, that my kids should be the light in the system, then I failed when I was there. I’m not sure any of us train our kids well enough to throw them to the wolves like that and expect them to see the teeth under all the sheep clothing.
But this I vow – my kids WILL be ready, and their eyes open, as they move into the world. More ready than I was, by far. My assignment is to reach people for Christ, and now I have 5 young kids who I can train to do the same. One more tool in the belt, one more way I can advance the Kingdom.
Lord, save him.