You all know that I have two daughters, but I have a lot of babies. My “babies” are all the kids who have come through my youth groups, been in my small groups at camps and retreats, and who come to touch my life deeply with their spirit and zest for life.
Every now and then, I spend time with my babies who are all grown-up and I’m excited and proud of what God has done in their lives. Some are university professors, some work with the urban poor, others have begun ministries or work in church ministries, still others are studying to become therapist and counselors, and still others are literally changing the world. Those times are always special and humbling.
Then there are those times when I get a report about my babies who have mis-fired for one reason or another. They struggle with drug use, bad relationships, and so many other things that bring tears to my eyes. I wish I knew what word, what event, what ministry project I could have done that would have made a difference, what would have made them embrace the way of Jesus. But the truth is I don’t. Most days, I spend a good bit of time kicking myself for all the ways in ministry in which I fail.People’s souls are the most important thing in the world, and I wish I was better at caring for them.
I’ve taught someone, somewhere a Bible class almost every Sunday morning of my adult life. I’ve exposed folks to the spiritual practices and disciplines. I’ve prayed with people and walked with them through some of the most heart-breaking moments of life. Yet still, people end up being people who sometime reject the Kingdom.
I’m thoughtful of what God must feel — though I’m sure I experience it on a lesser level — that people He loves, and has tried to expose to love, reject it and turn away. I’m not even sure people reject God willingly. We’re all sooooo immensely broken!
What I do know is that I wish the journey from knowing and hearing about God, to loving to live as His child weren’t so great a distance.