If I should ever try to find a good description for the word ‘lost’, it’d be rather hard. Compared to intriguing words which often sound new to the ear, this one is often passed by, or pushed to the back due to ‘commonness’.
Everyone knows the meaning of the word; it is self-explanatory and does not need any further elaboration.
And yet, it’s still part of the millions of words in the dictionary. It has the same status as any other word.
What if God could be compared to a dictionary, and we were all words that express who we are and what we do, what status would the lost have?
And how can it be that the word ‘lost’ always seems to be lost when it comes down to our God-given responsibility – preaching the Gospel to the – lost?
In the last few years, I’ve had the honour of doing some hands-on ministry work, mingled with the work that I do.
One of the projects that our organization runs is Lifeplace, which is a safe haven for destitute women who have been enslaved in the claws of drugs and prostitution.
Walking down the dark ally ways, choking away the puffs of smoke and the stench of drugs and urine thrown in your face, I see a woman. Her beauty, unbeknownst to her gets ruined by the minute. Who will tell her that there IS a man who loves her, with a love that cannot be compared to any earthly lover? At what point does her beauty turn to ashes and our conscience seared? At what point will we take an active step of faith, and risk our safety, our pride and the possibility of being slapped in the face, just to tell her how beautiful she really is?
At what point in time, do we classify her as simply lost, or one of the beloved lost?
In a recent outreach, I spotted a young girl, surrounded by two men, sitting on the pavement wall. Our group members started conversing with the men, upon which the one left. The other, stubbornly debated his strong Christian faith with us whilst blowing breaths of alcoholic contamination on us.
Then I saw the girl. Lost and afraid. She glanced around fearfully, bracing herself against a possible next blow. A stir in my heart made me move towards her, and I sat next to her and embraced her with my arms.
I started speaking words of hope to her. I told her how beautiful she is, and she’s wasting her life here on the streets. I told her she can end this, there’s no need to wake up tomorrow, wondering how she will make ends meet. There is someone who loves her, and until she realizes that, she will not be fulfilled seeking the pleasure of men.
Tears of hurt ran down her cheeks while she covered her mouth in an attempt to whisper to me so as not to let the man hear. With my ear close to her lips, she opened up her pain. She shared with me how he abuses her, and showed me the scars on her face, her handbag still stained with fresh blood.
She snuggled her head up in my neck, probably the only warmth and love she’s ever felt in a long time. I told her that I’ll come for her, and her eyes lightened up with hope. She begged me not to let her down, and I promised I wouldn’t.
Then the man sent her away.
My heart aches for her, and the many other women who suffer similar pain of hurt and rejection by all they know.
Someone needs to tell them that they ARE indeed a woman, a pretty lady, and NOT an object. Someone needs to tell them how beautiful they are, and that there is a life far better than their own. Someone needs to tell them how lost they are and that Someone has already found them.
Who will it be?
May God help me, that wherever I am, not just on the nightly streets, but even in my own home, that I will be able to uplift His children on His behalf.