I’m sitting on my couch watching the news coverage of the hostage standoff in Paris. Wavering between tears and prayers for the situation. A country half a world away rocked by sorrow, uncertainty, fear, and what seems a never ending volley of violence felt around the world.
This week marks the 59th anniversary of the deaths of five young men who answered the call to make a difference in the jungles of Ecuador. Jim, Ed, Pete, Nate, and Roger, along with their young families, were missionaries whose story has been told over the years through books and movies. Their love for God that surpassed their love for themselves, challenged and changed the hearts of an entire tribe and thousands of people abroad.
I came across a hymn posted on a friend’s Facebook page that shared the heart of a pastor in the late 1930’s. Powerful words that describe the pastor’s heart, If Men Go to Hell, who Cares?
All of these events, seem separated by time and location, but they aren’t, not on God’s timeline and in His economy.
These people matter. They matter to Him– they are all His children, some obedient, some defiant, but still His. Does a parent love a child less when he or she turns their back on the family that loves him or her? No, the parent’s heart aches for reconciliation and healing. A chance, an opportunity, to return to a sense of wholeness.
The people in France — the hostages and those who took them hostage– they matter. Their purposes and their outcomes may be different, but their souls– their ever living, never dying souls, matter. Pray for those impacted by this sadness.
The people– the missionaries and the native tribe of Waorani– they mattered and still do. Lives have been changed for eternity because five men and their families decided to follow the call of Christ.
The words in the hymn, written by a pastor nearly eighty years ago, are echoed by pastors today. Lost people matter to God. They matter. How are we praying for those who have yet to know the truth of God’s amazing love and grace offered freely to any and all who chose His path above their own?
I don’t have answers for the hurt in this world. I wish I could wave a magic wand and bring them peace, but I can’t. But I do know, I do know the God of the Universe loves, loves, loves them.
He loves them, just like He loves you and me and He calls to us, to them, to come to Him and be whole. Be freed from struggles, sin, addiction. Be healed from hurts, injuries to the heart, from disappointment, from loss.
So to answer my initial question of Who cares? God cares. He loves us with an ever-ever-ever lasting love. And I will never be the same.