Sunday, October 22, 2006

Save This Soul

There's a 20 acre park near my home. My kids and I call it Pine Tree Park, for obvious reasons. It's like a little piece of creation nestled inside of suburbia America. No swings or baseball diamonds or pools or picnic benches; just trees and greenery and mocking birds and butterflies.

There are several trails that "cut" through the park. When you're in the thick of it, in the center, and you look up and around, it's like an endless skyline of trees and sunshine. It's breathtaking.

Well, it's a long story, but suffice to say local authorities are considering selling this property so that it can be "developed." Oh joy, oh rapture! Heaven forbid there be one piece of unspoiled green space in this city!!

There's a big grassroots movement afoot to save the park. Today, I pounded 2 "Save This Park" signs in my yard. I'm hoping my neighbors will follow suit; with signs, and with their check books.

It seems there are hundreds and hundreds of people involved in saving this piece of God's creation.

My mind drifts to other pieces of God's creation ... US.

What if I printed up a bunch of signs that said, "Save this Soul" and nailed them into the yards of my unbelieving neighbors? Would someone create a web site, throw a special fundraising event, write a grant proposal, call politicians, email the neighbors and sign petitions to save my neighbors? Would they? Would I?

It seems we have taken this beautiful 20 acres of pine trees for granted until the threat of losing it surfaced rather recently. Do we take our very souls for granted as well? How about the souls of our friends and loved ones?

When was the last time I told someone about the love of God? When was the last time I shared my faith in a "dangerous" way? Prayed for the salvation of another human being? HURT for another human being because they did not know the Lord? Witnessed without "picking and choosing" whom should receive my message?

My weekly Bible study with women who are in recovery is aimed at this noble goal: bringing people to Christ. But I feel lately as if I am going a little soft. Where's the fire? Where's the passion? How did I get off track?

Last week, I felt part of that passion returning. I felt it when I looked into the eyes of a sweet, young woman who couldn't be a day over 19. Her name is Katie. She is among the women in recovery. She sits in the corner of the room as far away from me as possible. Why does she come to Bible study? Because everyone HAS to attend, I recently learned (oh, what a blow to my ego!). She won't look at me. She won't participate. She won't pray with us. I thought this strange, so I inquired about Katie and was told, "Oh, she doesn't believe in a higher power."

So the next week I told the girls, "Even if you don't believe in God, he still believes in you." I sort of looked at Katie. OK, a weak attempt, but it was a beginning.

I have since determined that I WILL reach out to her. Not preach, reach. I'm going to try to find out what her story is. But it's a little hard for me. It's a step out of my comfort zone. I will need God's nudging and many prayers.

I feel like I owe it to God and to me. You see, I was Katie at one time. Maybe you were too.

Lord, pound a sign inside my heart that says, "Save this Soul." Show me how to reach out to others. Give me a burden for ladies like Katie who don't know you; who are determined not to know you. I know she is your precious daughter. Use me to reveal your love and mercy.

And give me just enough grace for today.

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