Last night we had a sleepover for our youngest daughter’s Sweet 16 Birthday. I stopped counting girls after 18 arrived. My husband was on a job in a nearby city, and wouldn’t be home till well after midnight.
The girls got settled with pizzas, chips, drinks and a whole lot of chatter. At last I could sequester away in my little reading room with a book I’d gotten at a book exchange. “The Heavenly Man is the intensely dramatic story of how God took a young, half-starved boy from a poor village in Henan Province and used him mightily to preach the gospel despite horrific opposition.”
While reading, I kept hearing the expected laughs, shrieks and occasional bumping into walls with a house full of fluttering teens. I quietly read on. At one point, I came out and told the girls they needed “to chill” a bit, hoping to save my walls and keep from sleepover casualties.
A little later, I put my book down to walk our rambunctious lab pups for the last time of the night. Coming out of the room the, I found the house pitch black. I heard whispers and shuffling feet. Someone brushed by me, stifling a chuckle.
Instantly I knew what was going on. The Underground Church. The girls were playing a game that simulated the underground culture of persecuted churches. These girls have grown up playing this game, praying for those scattered around the world who live and die for sharing and spreading the gospel. I walked thru the dark house leading the pups out with whispers.
As I walked the neighborhood, I pondered the game going on in my home. Our lives are such a contrast from the persecuted church. We gather freely, worship loudly and openly share the word of Christ. I’m humbled and grateful to be part of the people of God. I love my girls, their friends and the families they represent. People of compassion and purpose.
What would we as people look like if the church here became underground? Would I be more or less passionate? Sadly, probably more. And with that thought I hear the whisper of my Savior once again beckoning me to live today and tomorrow fully embracing Him whatever my conditions. “This is the life I’ve given you, walk it vibrantly child, loving boldly and generously; keeping your eyes fixed on Me.”
That truly is enough.
My prayer then for you the reader and myself is, “Lord, let Your fire burn bright and your love run deep. May we serve well in loving boldly; friend or foe, believer or not. Fill us to the fullness in God by your indwelling presence Holy Spirit. Let us speak words of life and eternity. Jesus be the honored by our lives. Let us wake up tomorrow with an expectation of YOU and excitement to see MORE of YOU moving thru us throughout the day.”
“And to the persecuted church oh God; pour out your grace, fueling vibrancy that only burns brighter with every heartache and hardship our brothers and sisters face.” Minister to them in their dark and lonely hours. Give them visions of heaven and the substance of hope to pass on to others. Increase our faith oh God.”
Grace upon grace. Amen.