THE NIGHT WAS FREEZING. There, outdoors, on the cold pavement, lay Sarah. The young woman got up immediately when she noticed our presence. Our objective that Christmas was simply to pray with the homeless people of Portland and give them gloves, hats, and scarves for the cold; something to eat; and some Christian literature. We were doing it with the firm conviction that Jesus Christ wants to save every soul.
Sarah had been to prestigious universities, but now she was on the street, terribly thin, and about five months pregnant. When we finished praying for her, my brother said to her, «What will happen with your life after this, Sarah?»
«I don’t know,» she answered. «I think I will just die here at any moment, but I don’t know what else will happen. No one knows.»
When I heard her story from her own lips, I could not avoid having my mind connect it with the parable of the prodigal son found in the Bible (see Luke 15:11—32). That son, who had once had everything thanks to his father, decided one day to leave home and squander everything. Finally, life found him like that, on the street, without having anywhere to go or anything to eat: an indigent. He «wasted his possessions» says the story (verse 13), and this is the part of the parable where I want to stop. Have you thought about the possessions you receive as a daughter of God? What are you doing with them?
We receive countless possessions from our heavenly Father every day, beginning with life and time. However, it is not time that counts, but how we live time; it is not life that is most important, but how we live life. We have two options: survive (or what is the same, not die) or live fully, taking advantage to the maximum of our possibilities and with a presence that allows us to see, hear, and process what we have before us. Believe me, they are hugely different options.
Dear friend, life happens today, and we are not in a position to waste it, as much concerning our own salvation as that of others. My special prayer for you (and for me) this morning is this: Lord, «teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom» (Psalm 90:12). Amen. I
«For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found» (Luke 15:24).