Monday, November 20, 2006

How Shall They Hear?

His weeping was a wake up call for me. His shuddering sobs a reminder of what things are important. I had not wholly forgotten, but the severity of the consequences had faded in my heart. My hopeful sense of expectancy had somewhere, somehow over the years, grown colder. My aching fear had lessened to a casual matter-of-factness.

When, during an all-too-routine talk with Little Napoleon this morning, he broke down in tears over his sin instead of the usual mechanical, 'Yes, Mom...yes, Mom...yes, Mom' cycle...I knew the Lord was working. I preached the gospel to him again-the bad news first, then the good. When he still seemed sincerely repentant, I called in the older children who are believers. Testing his response in front of everyone, we walked through Psalm 51 with him, and he remained steadfast in his decision. It appears that Little Napoleon was truly born again.

In the midst of the other children interrogating questioning him, I noticed the Engineer weeping violently. Imagining him to be rejoicing for Little Napoleon, instead I found him to be heartbroken for the Dreamer, who is (in our opinion) still unsaved.  A foolish (but graciously short-lived) season of our allowing the Dreamer to be in a Sunday School class has left him with a warped view of the gospel. The easy-believism-ask-Jesus-into-your-heart-and-live-happily-ever-after plan to which he had brainwashing exposure, was the source of agony to the Engineer. He was weeping over his brother's unsaved state...and his very sure future outside of true repentance.

Reflecting on this later in the day, it was needful for me to repent of my lackadaisical attitude about the unbelievers I love. Thanksgiving is coming, along with many unsaved relatives visiting. Some claim to be believers and are not, some know they are not and do not care. Knowing that their fates will be the same, how much do I care?

Lord, remind me where I was when you found me, how it was no different from them. Remind me how you prepared someone to preach to me, and how they need the same. Remind me anew of how to fulfill the debt of love I owe to You... 

'So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God' (Romans 10:17).

'How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?' (Romans 10:14).

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