Gloria hadn’t been serving in Mexico very long before she found herself standing over her husband’s dead body on the beach there.
It was her daughter Carla’s birthday, the family was at the ocean, and Carla got caught in the undertow. Her father, Gary, ran in. So did three others.
Gloria watched in horror. All five drowned.
But that’s not the part that rocked the world.
As her husband’s body lay there on the beach, Gloria stood over him, her heart searing with pain beyond words. But she looked in the eyes of the crowd of nationals gathered around, lifted her hands and began to speak passionately.
“If this were you, where would you be? Let me tell you where my husband is now.”
She knew why she was there, why she was alive.
We are entitled to nothing. Not husbands, not homes, not refrigerators or electricity or Chick-Fil-A or safety.
We are privileged to preach His name and His gospel, for His glory.
It’s a word He’s been speaking into my heart over the past year but burning into it the last two weeks. I’ve met people who are going into dark places, preparing for great risk. I’ve heard stories of person after person who not only gave up a refrigerator but breathed their last breath for the gospel to spread to new places.
Somebody’s mother and brother and best friend, who probably liked to eat chicken and play Scattergories and hang out with their families before they felt burdened to risk it all. When Martha Myers left, she planned to never make it back from Yemen alive. The news is lit up even today with people dying for their faith on the other side of the world.
I’m challenged by them.
More often I should be grappling with the idea that I’m but a breath here, and that a life poured out is nothing but gain. Less often I should be thinking about how, from my desk in the UK – far from real risk – I’ll miss Moe’s burritos. My heart turns the question over, but I’m still far from laying down my life and everything I have, even the people I love. Sometimes in my honest moments, I don’t understand why I have to give stuff up. Good stuff. And I ask Him why I have to.
If I were on the other side of the world and had never heard the gospel, my soul would plead for someone to be willing to give up Chick-Fil-A to come tell me, to answer the question I had that seemed to have no resolution.
I pray every step I take in life is one step closer to that person.