The Woman at the Gate
The apartment we stayed in was a 5 story, gated building with marble interior hallways and steps with bars on every window and outside door. The middle of the building was open so that every apartment faced the center courtyard. It wasn’t open air at the top but had a partially open ceiling. The apartment was at the end of a small, narrow, dirt road.
In order to go anywhere we would walk down the dirt road to the nearest main road. As we walked this road, we passed by a gated two-story home. Inside the gate someone had used white wash to paint some words on concrete posts. The words were: The blood of Jesus Christ saves. Whenever I walked past the home I mentally high-fived whomever had written the words and also prayed for their safety—because in India that is a very courageous thing to do. I came to think of the house as the Jesus Saves house.
One day one of the long term volunteers and I were walking back to the apartment after getting groceries. There was a middle-aged woman dressed in a yellow, brown, and orange sari standing in front of the Jesus Saves house throwing some dirty liquid into the road. Thankfully the contents of the container were emptied right before we came even with her. I said, “Hello.” Just as a by and by, isn’t it wonderful what a simple greeting to a stranger can yield?! The woman responded and asked where we were from. The Indian people were always curious about us because we were in an area that did not see many tourists. Then the woman, I will call her Berta, asked if we were Christians. Berta said she was a Christian and in fact she had a ministry. Berta told us that she shared the gospel with a small church that met in a home in the area. Berta told us that the need for people in India to learn about the Grace of God and salvation through Jesus Christ was overwhelming. In some distress, Berta expressed how her heart hurt for the population of her city. The city has 12 million people in it. With tears in her eyes she said that three-quarters of the city’s population would perish and not be saved. “Sisters,” she implored us, “pray for India, pray for our people, pray for the people of this city.” We stopped right there and prayed with Berta and promised we would continue to pray and would not stop. We never encountered the woman again.
My dear ones, as I ponder Berta’s words and her heart for the fellow women and men of her city and her country, I ask myself, “Am I truly affected, as Berta was, by the lost condition of those around me? Or do I selfishly keep the glorious news of salvation to myself?" Oh yes, it is selfish. I may tell myself it isn’t because I might be rejected by others or persecuted for my beliefs. In reality I hold onto a doctrine of scarcity—thinking I will keep this good news to myself. A good friend of mine has opened my eyes to God’s doctrine of abundance—when we share the good news with others, it multiplies, it does not diminish.
One of the many things that I brought back from India with me is a passionate desire to share the good news of a risen Savior, a Savior who is big enough to offer salvation to all who call on His name, with the people in my city, where God has put me. Will you not also look around and allow God to open your eyes to the needs of your community? And please, please join with me in praying for our country.
In fellowship and love.