Regrets. I've had a few in my life. There are times I said to myself, "If only . . ." or "I wish . . ." Like you, I feel sad for the past failures, mistakes and sins.
One of my most painful memories has to do with a little girl named Meena. Meena was a beautiful 5-year-old living in Bombay. She had the biggest brown eyes. When the social workers first saw her, she was standing in six inches of sewer water.
Meena was one of the thousands of children who survive by begging on the streets. No one knows if her parents abandoned her or simply died. Her life was sustained by the meager sums she could coax from passersby and the scraps she would often eat out of the garbage piles just to stay alive.
I saw a photo of Meena, and it’s one I can never forget. Later, I learned that she began eating sewage-infested dirt off of the streets. Soon she went into a coma and died.
The sad thing is that there are still children eating dirt to fill their empty stomachs. They are silent victims of poverty, quietly passing unnoticed from some of the darkest places on earth.
Acting in Jesus’ Name
For Meena it’s too late. My deep regret is that we didn’t have a GFA Bridge of Hope center in her slum to rescue her.
You and I did not ask to be born and raised in the circumstances and comforts we have. You too could have been born destitute in one of the slums of Calcutta or in a Dalit family in Bihar. You could have been that little slumdog, blinded and turned into a street beggar. It’s true, you might even have been sold into the sex business and died long before your 20th birthday.
God in His mercy gave us the privilege of living our lives with the freedom and blessings words can’t describe.
Once in a while God tries to break into our normal lives and tell us something important. He brings a matter to our attention that tears at our hearts, maybe even brings us to our knees. But then, sadly, so often that is all that happens.
So many times as I learn and relearn the reality these children face, I again realize that for too long I missed something important. So I cry out, “Lord, what is wrong with me? How could I possibly forget?”
I get so caught up in my day-to-day activities that weeks and months and even years pass, and I don’t realize how quickly they have gone.
It is for Jesus’ sake that we act. It is in His name that we sacrifice. Together, you and I, we can make dreams come true for precious children.
Whatever Happened to Time?
One of the earlier memories of my college days in the United States is about a television show starring George Burns. He looked old, really old. He wore these round glasses like Gandhi, whom I respect so much. He was always puffing a cigar in between his stories and songs.
There was something about him that I just liked. One thing was this song he sang, and he did it often. A few words really stuck with me, “I wish I was 18 again.”
When the Lord called me to serve Him, I was barely 16! I was living in a tiny village in a small state at the southern tip of India. Today, as I am writing these lines, I am 60! And I think to myself, “Whatever happened to time?” It kind of feels like it was yesterday when I left my home, traveling 2,000 miles to northern India to serve the Lord.
How did time slip by so fast . . . I don’t know!
Along with George Burns, I too feel like singing, “I wish I was 18 again.” Why? Because there is so much to be done. The world is broken, filled with so much suffering, so many precious children—all lost and helpless. I want to lead them to Jesus, the One who is their hope.
But I can’t turn back the clock. Time flies by and before we know it, it’s all over. There’s the final good-bye from this earth and to all the things we thought were so important and held on to so tightly.
Think about it! One hundred years from now, what do they matter? Oh, how silly we are not to live in the light of eternity! In her book Things as They Are Amy Carmichael said, “We shall have all eternity to celebrate the victories, but we have only the few hours before sunset in which to win them.”
What a day it is going to be when we stand before the throne to find multitudes that no man can number from every nation, every tribe and every tongue! Our willingness to work these few hours will make eternity that much richer.
Live in the light of eternity. Make your life count.