Saturday, September 10, 2011

Never Abandon Your Loved Ones

Fourth of July, Monroe
Brother Lawrence's conversion was like this. "It had all happened one winter day, as he was looking at a barren tree.... This gave him a profound impression of God's providence and power, which never left him. Brother Lawrence still maintains that this impression detached him entirely from the world and gave him such a great love for God that it hasn't changed in all of the forty years he has been walking with Him." (Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. Practice Of The Presence Of God, p. 11)

Why not? If there is a God, conversion to Him should be simple. And, seemingly mundane events can have profound spiritual significance. Usually, this is how things work in the kingdom of God.

I was four years old. It was the Fourth of July. My parents had bought some fireworks to shoot off. But my neighbors, who lived a few houses away, were wealthier than my family. They invited me to come that night to their fireworks. I went. My mom and dad and little brother Mike, who is three years younger than I, stayed home and shot off my family's meagre celebration.

When I returned home they were in the yard, and the show was over. They were not angry with me. But I have never forgotten this tiny, seemingly insignificant scene. It is with me right now. When Christ rescued me, at age 21, this came back to me. I remembered it and felt sad. I had abandoned my own family for something bigger. I did not feel condemned by this, and I doubt that it meant much to my parents and Mike. But through it God told me, "Never abandon your loved ones."

I won't, God, just as you have never abandoned or forsaken me.