Archive for August, 2017

“Be Not Afraid Of Their Faces” (Jeremiah 1v8)

August 14, 2017

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In recent times I have had the opportunity to be in the company of some very learned people – people who are knowledgeable in the affairs of this world but sadly devoid of spiritual life. I attended an event after the recent conference in Crete where business cards were exchanged and conversations struck up between professors and “doctors of book knowledge.”

Sharing your faith with proud people who are full of education and knowledge in their sphere can be quite a challenge; yet possible when we have a love for them in our hearts which only the Lord can instil. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us.” (1John 4v17-19)

When we are in the middle of such a situation, it is good to pause for a moment and listen to the hum of voices around us as they converse on that which will someday completely pass away. These things have their place in life as people obviously have to work for a living but the most important issue of all is the question of the health of the soul and mankind’s eternal well-being. Above the voices and the traditional music I hear a still small voice calling me, just as He did Jeremiah and Samuel in days of old – and He is calling me to be a witness to those around me. But I am terrified!

It was late, time to go back to our little apartment in the “middle of nowhere” and we might get lost en route, my husband said. I sigh and leave the table. The people at this table don’t even appear to notice that we are leaving…. In fact I have felt invisible for the entire evening and anyway I didn’t understand what language they were speaking. Is this all there is to this evening? Can I not say even one tiny word for the Saviour who died for me? Just as we reach some steps by a swimming pool in the darkness of the night I shout to my husband… “Wait! I need to go back. I’ll join you in a moment.” I remembered the tracts in my handbag that I felt the Lord wanted me to bring.

When I return to the table there is, amazingly, exactly one tract for each person left sitting there. Shaking, I approach each of them with a little tract and a smile. I believe that they are East Europeans but I know that they will understand these simple words…

They look bewildered. I can’t speak their language and they had made no attempt to speak English to us previously. The one woman in their midst looks at me and smiles back. I say “goodnight” and leave my feeble attempt prayerfully with the Lord. Glancing back, I can see that I have left them with something interesting and controversial to talk about!

I am emotional as we leave the hotel and I really don’t know why, as I feel that I’m really quite a failure and yet I had a strange sense of something having been achieved on this night. Only eternity will tell. As with the two little loaves and the five fishes (Mark 6v41&42), the Lord can take the miniscule seeds we sow or the small contributions we make and accomplish something with them for time and eternity. And in His strength and with the love He gives us for souls, we can reach out more and more as He leads, in His strength and in seemingly impossible situations.

The Unknown Homeless Man Of Kalyves

August 5, 2017

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Life has been hectic since our return from the Greek island of Crete just last week but somehow I keep thinking about him. These are words which I scribbled down on the night we had made enquiries about a homeless man we had previously met in 2009…

“We returned after eight years and found the square again in the same traditional Greek village of Kalyves but you were gone…

“Look after yourself,” I had told you but sadly I cannot remember now our conversation. We bought you something to eat – you, the drifter, a million miles from home. But where was “home?”

“America,” you had said. When we said we were from Ireland, you smiled at some distant memory and whispered simply: “I remember Ireland… lots of rainbows…”

Mystery soul, you are gone, a local told us; buried in a municipal grave; your funeral financed by the government. Every night you would sit on a circular seat built around a tree in the square. My husband gave some money to the nearby kiosk owner before we left. We had only stayed there for a week in 2009. “Please give that man some food each day when we are gone,” he had asked him. But there was a different kiosk owner now. Nothing ever stays the same, as life ebbs in, like the rolling tide beyond our little balcony…

Where did you come from? You never really wanted to talk about yourself or how it was you came to be there. Were you a missing person from where you once lived? Somewhere in this world a mother gave birth to you once. Then you drifted around the world, or perhaps you were running away from something or someone… You weren’t very old – forties perhaps. Is your mother alive or did she die, not knowing where on earth you ever went to?

The full moon reflects tonight on the rippling waves of Kalyves as we think of you, homeless friend, wondering whatever happened in the end. Sleeping rough, even in Crete, can wear a body down. Where is your soul tonight, homeless man? Will I ever meet you again? Did I share salvation’s story with you? What did we say to you?

These are questions that have been burning in my mind, as I think of this and other souls I have met in recent years – only to later discover that these souls had passed into eternity.

As I journey along, sometimes meeting a drifter (or even a very conservative settled person) that I will never ever meet again in this life, Lord help me to be faithful to them, sharing Your love and Salvation’s Story with them. Their reaction is irrelevant – I must do my part in the strength of the Lord – and then pray with all my heart for these souls you loved and died for.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1v16)

Lord, help us to be faithful. Help me to be faithful.