A few weeks ago, this was literally somebody else's problem. A friend of mine, Katie Allison Granju, wrote about the struggle her son Henry was having, recovering from a brain injury suffered after an assault and a drug overdose. I call Katie a friend, but it's a strange friendship. We disagree vehemently on many things, pretty much everything to tell the truth, but when we've met in person, she's always been friendly and good-natured and we got along well. One of the things we've disagreed on is the nature of Christianity and what it means to call ourselves Christian. To simplify things, I am a Biblical Christian, relying on a fundamentally literal approach to reading the Bible while she prefers a more liberal approach. As Henry's struggle continued, Katie wrote some things that really struck me to the core and I felt compelled to respond.
You have to understand, I wasn't led to argue with her, but I felt a calling I hadn't ever felt before as a Christian, a need to witness to her specifically,about issues she raised, and so I decided to write an email. Before I wrote the first word, I prayed to God and asked that He would give me the words so that she would hear His message, and not mine.
And now Luke sits in a hospital bed not too far from where Henry was, God answered my prayer in a completely unexpected and entirely unwelcome way.
There's a lot of Christians who will read that statement and immediately reject it, saying that God would never hurt an innocent in order to fulfill His design. To them, I say "Go read your Bibles my friends." First, there are no innocents in this world, and second, God will do as He wills, not as we think. Non believers will react similarly, bu for different reasons. They'll say that any God who would do that is a malignant and capricious God,and not worth serving. Again, they are wrong because they are trying to judge God by human standards. We know that this life is a brief detour on our journey to eternity, but we often act like we've forgotten that basic truth. Our lives are short, and eternity is long, and if our lives here are painful, but earn us an eternity in Heaven, then that's an easy trade.
So why don't we live like that?
I was asked a question today. It just popped into my mind, but I knew I had to answer it honestly.
"Would you sacrifice the life of your son to save the soul of your friend?"
It was the question asked of Abraham, and of Mary and Joseph,and they answered "Yes, Lord."
I failed the test because my answer was "No."
A second question came into my mind:
"Would your answer be any different if you knew your son was saved?"
"Yes, Lord, it would."
And it's the third question that's been keeping me up all night tonight:
"Have you done everything you could to bring your children to Christ?"
I don't like my answer to this question either.