And so I prayed. Deep down in my heart I prayed again that whatever the Lord willed for this young lady would come to pass.

My counterpart Augustine shared from Hosea, one of the less popular books in the Bible I think. But it’s a great book. Hosea is a book about love, and how  God used the Prophet’s marriage to a prostitute to demonstrate how he loved Israel with an everlasting love.  I loved the chapter 1:2 personally. (You probably should get to read the Book of Hosea in the Bible if you haven’t yet. ) Augustine shared from the chapter 11:1-8, with emphasis on the verse 8

“But how can I give up on you? How can I let you go? How can I leave you to be ruined? I can’t bear to even think such thoughts” Augustine continued.

“Sister! That is the word of the Lord! He can’t give up on us! Israel probably was the most rebellious and adulterous and idolatrous nation, yet the Lord loved Israel still dearly! Because the Lord loves us too despite everything he sent his son Jesus to die for our sins. Because he doesn’t want us to perish and get ruined. In our worse state of sin that was when God showed us love! Even Israel was shown so much love, how much more for us now since Jesus has showed the greatest love by dying on the cross for us?”

I was happy with Augustine’s message. Because God loves us he can’t leave any one of us to perish. I stole glances at Janelle just trying to figure out how she was receiving the message.

After Augustine’s sharing Janelle asked. “So you’re saying that God loves us right? I don’t believe entirely in that. Because…people go through so much trouble in this world. Many people get abused and broken hearted. If God loves us, then why do some people go through all this?”

That was indeed a thought provoking question. I signaled Augustine that I would want to address that question.

“Alright… what you’re saying is true. It’s rather unfortunate that many people go through all that. But the world will continue to be a hostile and an abusive place if people refuse to allow the love of God to shine in their hearts. And one thing we know for sure is that, God is with us through it all. He said that when we go through the fire or the waters he is with us. We may not understand why bad things happen to people in this world, but we know one thing for sure, that God is always near to heal the broken hearted, if only you will let him heal you. And definitely since he is a just God, he will reward each and every man according to his works.” I told her.

“But why does He wait for people to get hurt and broken hearted before he comes in to help?” she asked again

Wow, I thought. “Like I said, it’s all about people letting the love of Christ shine in their hearts. If the love of God is in you, you won’t hurt your neighbor or do your neighbor harm. If the love of God is in you, you won’t abuse another person. But God has given each and every individual his or her will, for which we will be accountable. If one chooses to hurt or break another person’s heart, God warns of such evil acts… in scriptures, in our consciences he warns us against evil. And he expects that by the free will every man will choose to do what is right. And just as the laws of our land punish wrongdoers, so will God pass judgment on each and every person for his or her works.”

She seemed quite okay with the answers. We went on to invite her for the upcoming crusade.

“All Believers Crusade? I’m not a believer!” she said sarcastically. “Most of those who claim to be believers are hypocrites!”

“Oh! Why do you say so?” Augustine asked.

“ See! Let me tell you this! You people never bother to really get to know people! You just stand far off and pass judgment! Many people walk around with broken hearts and bleeding souls! Many people are wounded by hurts and betrayal and disappointments and …abuse… Your way of showing such people love is to stand at a distance and prejudice them for staining their ‘garments’! Yes that’s what many of you guys do! Many so called Christians never actually realize that people’s hearts are broken and oozing, and that’s why they’re stained with resentments and hatred and even mistrust in God! You people should change! I’ve been into Christianity before, and at least I know that that’s not what Jesus taught!”

What she said was blunt, and Augustine and I were really shocked.

“Mhh okay! I’ll see if I can come!” she said. “Okay thank you for the motivational message on love. If you don’t mind, I think that I want to sleep now”

We got that signal. So we prayed with her

and thanked her, then we left.

However, all that she said again got me thinking a lot.


Dorothy Budu-Arthur


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