It’s been a full day.
Imagine walking through a museum and contemplating fine masterpieces one at a time—slowly, carefully. Quietly taking in every nuance, every brush stroke. With thoughts still lingering in your mind from one beautiful work of art, you encounter yet another. Finally, it’s time to go home. As you leave the stillness of the building behind, impressions entertwined with emotion are accompanying you.Somehow, a small part of you has subtly changed through what you’ve just experienced.
I did not visit a museum today, yet I had much to ponder. Through the generosity of a friend, I attended a benefit brunch for a local women’s shelter. The speakers were transparant and sincere. The music was touching. God was displaying His work for me to consider as I learned of the desparate needs of women in the area and His continued faithfulness in their lives.
Late afternoon found me walking with my husband down the main street of a nearby town, noticing birds and flowers, fences and lawns. It was a time to appreciate the calm beauty of our surroundings.
My next stop was an awards banquet for educators in the school system. A select group of teachers were being honored for their dedication, passion and fervor for investing in the lives of their students. The stewardship of young lives seemed to lace most of the comments of the evening. There was much to contemplate.
At the conclusion of the banquet, I drove to the local YMCA for a county wide youth gathering of about 200 teenagers. After the speaker concluded his message, I had the wonderful privelege of praying with a couple of students who were feeling God tug on their hearts.
As I opened the Bible later tonight while sitting at my desk, my eyes fell on a passage that I hadn’t remembered:
You shall not see your countryman’s ox or his sheep straying away, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly bring them back to your countryman.
If your countryman is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall remain with you until your countryman looks for it; then you shall restore it to him.
Thus you shall do with his donkey, and you shall do the same with his garment, and you shall do likewise with anything lost by your countryman, which he has lost and you have found. You are not allowed to neglect them.
You shall not see your countryman’s donkey or his ox fallen down on the way, and pay no attention to them; you shall certainly help him to raise them up.
With the experiences of the day fresh on my mind, I wasn’t considering oxen or sheep. I thought of straying people—sons, daughters, students—anyone. Who should be responsible to "bring back" those that we see are drifting down the wrong path? Who should take them into "their own house" and care for them until they can be restored? Are we to care for women in need of a shelter? A student in need of encouragement?
As the opportunity is given, we may choose to come along side those that are straying. Meeting them where they are, and with loving guidance from God, we can then begin the process of bringing them back.
It’s been a full day.
I had a lot to learn.