A few weeks ago, my wife and I took our two boys to Outback for dinner with my parents. Going out to eat is one of our favorite things to do - at least it used to be. Now, between our 12-week-old and 2-year-old, it’s a miracle if either of us gets to eat without someone screaming, running under the table, or demanding to be held. This night at Outback was one of those “memorable” nights. Our toddler was exhausted from a playdate, and the little one was fed up - he'd had enough of all the activity from the day! As all good parents do, we pacified the toddler with YouTube videos and waited for baby Ben to stop crying.
As I sat down to the table, our food having already arrived, I was holding Ben in my arms and asking myself the same old question, “Why do we do this to ourselves? Wouldn’t it just be easier to stay home?” At that moment, a female server came by and told us how blessed we were to have such a healthy newborn. You see, her granddaughter was at the University of Kentucky struggling for her life. She had been born prematurely, and the things that had come easy for my Ben had been traumatizing, even life threatening for her.
That totally changed my perspective. “Thank you God for my two crazy, out of control, but perfectly healthy children.” As we got up to leave, I felt a nudge to ask this lady her granddaughter’s name so I could pray for her. She gladly shared the girl’s full name. She was hurting and crying out for help. Our commonality, a newborn child, had given her the comfort to open up to our family and share her struggle.
Isn’t that the key to evangelism? Tuning in and responding to the cries of the people around us? There are a ton of voices competing for our attention - our children, our jobs, our finances. Sometimes it feels easier to stop listening to others and shelter ourselves in our own little world. Fortunately that night the Holy Spirit grabbed my attention and led me to pray for this struggling little baby and her grandmother. Who is hurting around you? How can you extend the hope of Jesus to them today?
What is keeping you from hearing the cries and pain of the people around you?
Read Mark 10:46-52 to see how Jesus responded to the cries of the hurting. How can your responses look more like His?