With the help of our national partners we clambered into the 4 person compartment and collapsed on the train bound for Nagpur. The 9 hour journey was an oasis of semi quiet before the next ministry burst. Introverts thrive on time alone and there had been next to none.
Quiet. Introspection. Analysis. For weeks, the soil of this introvert's soul had been drying out and I was feeling frayed, irritable and discouraged. As the train lurched forward, I tented myself in a sheet just for the pretense of privacy from the man sharing our cabin and began to unload my heart. "Lord, what on earth are we doing? We've poured ourselves out for each person coming to the clinics. We've turned ourselves inside out accommodating to strange surroundings, hard beds, cold baths and food that well, at times, is just plain scary. I'm tired and frustrated. Despite our best efforts at teaching each person, most people wrap their glasses in the little plastic bag, hold them in their hot little hands and stroll our of the clinic unchanged and unseeing. WHAT is going on? Is any of this effort making ANY difference whatsoever? Is this sacrifice of time and energy and resources really worth it? We came here so 'That All May See" and yet so many leave just as blind as when they came, holding in their hands the very thing that will give them sight. Underneath my cotton canopy, the Lord spoke so clearly into my heart that my eyes flooded.
"I was poured out in every way for each one. My time and My energy, My precious resource, My Son, literally poured out His blood yet many casually scan the facts, turn and walk away. Unseeing. Unbelieving. I came that All may see yet " wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it" (Matthew 7:13 NKJV). Some refuse out of ignorance Some refuse out of pride. Some refuse simply because they wilfully choose to follow other gods. Together we can work on the first. I will work on the second. Neither of us can help the third - not when a soul consciously chooses to walk away from the very thing that will bring them sight".
As I lay there, hidden from everyone but God, these realities released me from shouldering responsibilities that were not mine to carry and reinforced my responsibility to simply be faithful. Whether showing the love of Christ through eye clinics and glasses or sharing the Gospel through words, we are called to be faithful. Can we improve? Yes! Should we strive for better outcomes physically and spiritually? Of course. But ultimately each one of us chooses for ourselves to accept or reject the lifelines that are extended to us.
As Easter approaches, we contemplate the gift of Christ's death on a cross. We may join the crowd and shout "Hosanna"lining up with all the others to cheer the gift. And yet, like many at the vision clinics, we carefully fold up the gift and seal it away never allowing it to impact our lives. Unbelieving. Unseeing.
Jesus died so that we can SEE. Will we?
It's our choice.