Empty buildings– crumbling walls with bullet holes visible – “highways” that looked more like back roads with cracks and potholes that would swallow a small car.
I didn’t expect this when I traveled to Romania in 1992. The country was bleak and barren, devastated by years of oppression that culminated in revolution. It was a far cry from the clean, colorful, life in Denver that I left 24 hours earlier.
The city was a reflection of the people. No masks of polite cheerfulness here…. their eyes were an open window to the hollow, hopeless soul inside. Years of life under a harsh dictatorship had held them hostage in fear and despair. Now they were outwardly free, but their souls were still imprisoned.
A bleak landscape. Could…would…God rebuild the devastated cities, the devastated lives? And then I met a grandma…her face awash with excitement, her eyes exposing a soul alive with joy. “I have been praying for 30 years for you to come.” Me? Not personally…but what I brought to her village…the Jesus Film.
The life of Christ, in their native language…after years of silence the doors were thrown open and hope flowed in. Our team showed the film in churches, schools, hospitals, and orphanages. Those who embraced the message left with their eyes reflecting light and life. But for those who turned away, the darkness of their soul heartbreakingly visible.
It was easy to see the difference there in Romania…the outward devastation ripped away the masks, revealing light and life or death and despair in their souls. It is harder to see here in our city…our masks firmly in place, a smile on our face, the invitation to “have a nice day”.
Are there devastated lives in our city? When you meet people ask God for spiritual eyes to see beneath the masks. Who is hiding there? Who needs the life of Christ? Has someone been praying…waiting for YOU to tell the people that their devastated lives can be renewed?
Let’s pray that God would rebuild…redeem…bring hope and life. And that He would use us!
Do you have a story to share of God’s redemption in a devastated place?
In His mercy He redeemed them. Isaiah 63:9