Driving down the road with my husband, I reach over from the passenger seat to turn up the radio. I heard something that immediately grabbed my attention- (not just because it was a song in English which we don’t hear very much, but because of the question that was being cried out) and I just had to figure out what they were talking about.
I heard this voice on a song singing, “Is anybody out there?”
As they went through the different verses each giving different scenarios, I could recall myself crying out the same thing. The song sings about a guy who grew up with an absent father, angry he ran to drugs because it was the only thing there for him. It sings about how desperate these different people feel- how they all feel so lonely- the chorus is people crying out, “I don’t wanna be left alone, in this war tonight. Am I alone in this fight? Is anybody out there?"
This song just struck something so deep within me. I listened to it hanging onto every word hoping that it would end with the only true hope that anyone could offer- not one of those “artificial sweeteners” type of hope that the world so often throws at us- you know what I’m talking about; the things that look like they are going to satisfy and may even do so temporarily, but at the end of the day- they aren’t the real thing- they are just artificial sweeteners.
I could not help but remember the day when my dear friend Izzy, who had shortly before that left the life of prostitution, told me that he grew up with something in his heart- that entered the day that he prayed and asking if anyone was out there. But, no one came. I know how the rest of his story went- he grew up alone- starting at 7 years old…. No one ever came. The only people who came to take; they came to abuse and to use. When he first told me about that prayer that he had prayed, or perhaps it was more like a thought, my heart broke…. I can not even imagine how deeply it hurt God’s heart. I can’t image how many people’s hearts he spoke to and asked to go out and share the good news with the broken, with the captive, with the orphans, with the “least of these”. Maybe those people that God was speaking to just didn’t hear, or maybe it felt uncomfortable, or even weird….. Maybe they were too busy to listen.
Whether we like it or understand it, we are God’s plan. We are God’s plan A and there is no plan B. We are called to literally be the dwelling place of the God of the entire universe. We are commanded to make Him known- to be the physical representation of Jesus here on Earth. Where was the church when this little boy was crying out wondering if anybody was out there? We are the ones who have the privilege to run to these people with the answer- we have been entrusted with the answer!!!! How amazing is it that we get to go and embrace these people and give them the only true hope. It is an HONOR to be that message bearer!
I met another man just last week who had a very difficult life, and was desperate… he was lost in drugs, sex, loneliness, etc. He walked for the first time into a church at the age of 34- never before that point had he heard the gospel. He had spent 34 years crying out in his heart “Is anybody out there? ANYBODY?”
I can not even begin to count how many people I have encountered on the streets of San Jose being prostituted, or in the trash dump in Guatemala city, or in the church bench beside me I have heard crying out that say cry, "Is anybody out there"?!
But the song didn’t end the way I had hoped. I was waiting anxiously throughout the entire thing hoping that it would share the truth! But instead, it ended with a question… and unanswered question. I wanted to scream outloud, “YES! YES! A most definite YES! There IS somebody out there- there is! And HE HEARS you! And He wants YOU! He is the creator of the entire universe and He desire to encounter you and fill every last inch of emptiness within your heart!”
For the church: Whose heart cry can you answer today? Is it a student in your class, is it your neighbor, the homeless community who live on that street that you always avoid, the guy that may seem a little difficult to get along with, the little boy playing outside who has no father influence in his life, or maybe even someone on the other side of the world. It could be sharing a meal, giving encouragement, or donating towards a ministry that devotes itself to this very thing, or being bold enough to make the commitment to invest in others. Ask the Lord whose heart cry you can answer! Embark on this amazing journey of partnering with Him! It is our call; it is our PRIVLEDGE to be the ones who deliver the message to broken and desperate hearts. What a beautiful thing the Lord allows us to do! Let’s do it together! Let’s make the Lord known and truly change the world! It’s an honor, a privilege, and so very fun!
(As with Izzy, most of you may know that God did answer that cry-He sent people- and Izzy’s life was radically transformed, redeemed, restored, healed.) (As for the man who heard the gospel at the age of 34, he is now an amazing missionary who is madly in love with the Lord).
Here is a link to the song: