Several years ago my husband and I set out one crisp January Sabbath morning on a journey. We didn’t know exactly where we were going, but the unmistakable message from God for some time had been clear. “Go find your brother.” After months of postponing and making excuses about the timing, I could no longer ignore the whisper and with the encouragement of my husband we drove away that morning with the goal to find my brother whom I had not seen or talked to in thirteen years.
We had the name of a county in West Virginia where it was most probable that he was residing. A 344 square mile mountainous, rural county. I still marvel as I think back on that day and how less than ten hours after we left North Carolina we found ourselves sitting in a tin home tucked into the West Virginia hills talking to my brother. The details are too many to fit into one small devotional.
After visiting with D for awhile, we drove forty miles back out of those hills to get to the nearest hotel with a promise to him that we would return in the morning. He had wanted us to stay right there and sleep with him in his home. I had resisted. Fear of the “critters” that most assuredly wandered around inside after dark. Fear of the unknowns outside. As is often the case for me, I allowed the fear to drive me away.
I was haunted as I tried to sleep that night, and I tossed and turned. Haunted by the poverty, the life of despair, haunted by my own neglect and unwillingness to become involved long before now. Why had I waited so long?
The following morning, with a car full of groceries, we headed back across that curvy, winding mountain road to spend the day with D before we had to return home. The conversations we had that day were intense and gut-wrenching. He tried his best to explain the years of running, the years of physical pain and emotional anguish, and why he felt unwanted and unloved. I tried my best to listen, to love, and to apologize for waiting so long.
But as we drove away that late Sunday afternoon, nothing was burned into my conscience more than these words: “I decided to just stay here and wait to see if anyone came looking for me. And I knew if anyone did, it would be you.”
How many more are out there simply waiting for us to come?
How many are living in despair and hopelessness longing for someone to find them, to bring them hope?
Yes, they could be tucked away in a mountain hovel…or they could be your neighbor next door hiding behind beautiful curtains and locked doors. Maybe it’s a co-worker, failing to make eye contact because she doesn’t want to reveal the pain transparent in her own eyes.
Maybe it’s you.
Isaiah 64:4 teaches us that since the beginning of the world there has been only one God “Who acts for the one who waits for Him.” Is He speaking to you today, asking you to be the channel through which He reaches the waiting soul within your sphere? Listen to what the still, small voice is saying to you, respond, and carry hope to that one who is waiting.
If it is you who is the waiting one, please…reach out now. Write to me at the address below. God acts for the one who waits for Him, and we are blessed to be His channels.
And in case you are wondering, with God as my Courage I did return the next month, and the next, and the next…sleeping in my brother’s home along with the mice scampering across the bed!