“Sir, take me home?”
A shadow had fallen over me. Looking up, I saw a young woman standing there, her eyes cast down. Embarrassed, she had asked me something I have not been able to forget. Stunned, I was not sure I had heard her correctly. Again, “When you go home, will you take me with you?” Softly I asked, “Why do you want to go home with me?” Deep tones of sorrow and helplessness framed her answer. “I want to go to school and be someplace where men don’t want to sleep with me.” That was over ten years ago.
My heart broke as I cried out, “Lord, help me.” Carefully, I began. “What is your name?” “Mary” (not her real name). I replied, “Mary, even if I wanted to take you home with me, it is impossible. I have a wife that I love madly, a family of my own. Besides, you would need a passport and visa. Many other details would need to be worked out. There is no way that I can do what you are asking.”
“I don’t understand why I was born in America and you were born here in Accra,” I continued.” “God has a plan for both of our lives. What do you know about God?” Furtively, she looked around, “I am supposed to be working now.”
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Our Broken Planet
What more could I do. I asked, “Before you go back to work, can I pray for you?” Head bowed, Mary listened while I spoke with God, asking that He bring her into a saving and personal relationship with Him through Jesus. She quietly thanked me and walked away. Later that evening, I saw her across the hotel dining room where she was cleaning away dishes from someone else’s meal. Our eyes met briefly. After that, I never saw her again.
It is hard to think back and imagine the life this young woman may have lived since then. Harder still is coming to grips with the disparity between my life in the USA and those impoverished, in so many ways, around the globe. Poverty is more than being hungry and not having a place to sleep. The current viral pandemic (COVID-19) infecting the whole world originated in the Garden of Eden. It has highlighted just how broken we all are.
Sin has infected humanity so deeply that most of us have no idea the extent to which it influences our thoughts, words, and actions. This is true even for “Christians.” Positionally, we were crucified, buried, and resurrected with Yeshua. Experientially, the “old man” clings tenaciously to the new, desperate to pull us all back into the tomb.
By the grace of God alone, there was never anything untoward implied toward Mary by me during our brief conversation. I believe that in me, Mary saw something safe, trustworthy, and caring. I pray that she saw something of what everyone saw in Jesus, compassion for the “weary and heavy-laden.” People wanted to be where Jesus was, and so they followed Him wherever He went. It was natural for them to want to be with Him.
“In My Father’s house, there are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:1-3).”
When Jesus lives in us, He walks among the lost people of His Creation. People should see us and want to be with us. But, never forget. It is not “us” who attracts them. It is Jesus in us. As we “abide” in Him, others like Mary will be taught not by what we say but through what they see us do. If we are faithful, some will ask the same question Andrew and John once asked Jesus, “Teacher, where are you staying?”
Mary did not know it at the time, but my home is not what she needed. She needs what Jesus followers have, a home, and a family with Him.
Let’s Take Them Home
So, why are we still here, Christian? Messiah Jesus has not come for those who are His because there are others He still us to bring to with us when He comes. We can show you how to invite the “Marys” around you to come home with you, one story, and one person at a time.
Disciple Daily offers a unique learning experience based on the storyline of the Bible. We help people gain confidence in their own ability to disciple others, enabling them to live together purposefully as followers of Jesus.
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