Many years ago, I was at one of our healing meetings in Pakistan when a Pakistani woman came up to me. She had been healed at one of the meetings and for the first time, she experienced the love of God, the light of God and the goodness of God. Her husband, who had died a year earlier, never experienced those things. He died in the darkness of hatred, an enemy of so many and for so long. As the joy of her new life subsided, a seriousness came over her.
“How long have you known about this Jesus?” she asked.
I hesitated for a moment, then said, “Well, I’m from Norway, and we’ve known about Him for some 1,000 years.”
“Me, I’ve known Him most of my life, since I was eight.”
She paused, then asked a question I’ll never forget. “Why didn’t you come sooner? If you had just come a year sooner, my husband might have come to know this Jesus, might have been healed by Him, and I would not be a widow.” As she spoke, I realized that what she said could be the epitaph on the tombstones of millions of Muslims and unreached people around the world.
“Why didn’t you come sooner?” The question chiseled itself into my memory. I’ll never forget that moment, and I will never forget her.
People often ask me what compels me to go to the darkest places, to the people who have never heard about Jesus. Jesus told His disciples to go to the far reaches of the world, sharing the love of God with everyone. It didn’t matter whether they were Muslim or Jew, man or woman, slave or free. When we don’t show up and let the light of God shine through us, darkness rules. When we don’t show up and let the love of God show through us, hatred rules. When we don’t show up and let the goodness of God spill from us, evil rules.
This story of the Pakistani woman and the millions like her are the reason I choose to love my neighbor and the reason I am willing to go to the darkest of places to reach those who need to know a love that looks like Jesus. This is what compels me and stirs me every morning when I wake up.
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