I’ve started reading A Chance to Die, a biography of missionary Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot, and have been consistently inspired and convicted by her life. Before heading to India, the country she’s most known for ministering to, Amy was a missionary in Japan. While there, she often wrote letters home to those supporting her. However, she was sometimes discouraged by the lack of passion people in the United Kingdom had for the lost. She wanted everyone to recognize the souls at stake and pressed herself to use every waking hour to spread the gospel.
Her passion puts mine to shame, and I was so convicted by the following paragraph she wrote. It’s worth reading a couple times:
“You who can resist the half-articulate pleading of many and many a heart today, can you resist this? From millions of voiceless souls, it is rising now — does it not touch you at all? The missionary magazines try to echo the silent sob. You read them? Yes; and you skim them for good stories, nice pictures, bits of excitement — the more the better. Then they drop into the wastepaper basket, or swell some dusty pile in the corner. For perhaps “there isn’t much in them.” Very likely not; “there isn’t much” in the silence any more than in the darkness, as least not very much reducible to print; but to God there is something in it for all. Oh! you–you, I mean, who are weary of hearing the reiteration of the great unrepealed commission, you who think you care, but who certainly don’t, past costing point, is there nothing will touch you?”
I read and reread her words, my wrinkled copy of World Vision‘s quarterly magazine on the floor, and I felt the discomfort of my own American-born Christianity. Until my heart cries out for the lost and I’m willing to do something about it, do I really care? And what else can it possibly take to touch my heart? I’m praying for God to transform me so that I long to see the lost saved in greater ways this year.