It was one night in England when we were having a series of meetings in a hotel in the midlands. The hotel was located in the center of the city just across from the main train station and the city buildings. There was a constant movement of people, from early morning to into the evening. I love to just watch the people as they hurried to their jobs and appointments on a daily routine.
My prayers in places like this, is simple; SOULS AND THEY ARE GOING TO HELL, SOULS AND THEY ARE GOING TO HELL. For the most part, those who travel with me on these trips don’t hear me pray this prayer, but heaven does.
We had a bill outside the door into the meeting room that identified that there was a Gospel Meeting in progress, and all were welcome. One brisk night a man came in and sat on the back row by Scott Willis. Scott did not really take a good look at the man at first; but, as he
sat there, he noticed something most unusual. The man did not have a face.
Later, Scott spoke to him; and to his surprise, he had a New England accent. Further conversation found that he had graduated from an Ivy League college, Princeton, to be exact. If you have ever spoken with Scott, he is like a trained journalist and could milk a cow with his probing questions.
Scott found out that the man had come to Great Britain many years before and had become a slave to drink that resulted in him losing career and family. This highly educated man ended up on the streets of the cities in Great Britain as a result. As Scott spoke with him, he knew the man was telling his life story and not some fabrication.
We have thought about that faceless man many times through the years. He lost his face when he was beaten by some street gang. He had fallen among thieves that stole his face with
their fist and boots. It gave a whole new meaning to, “losing face”. It was dreadful, what happened to him. What his choices had been, cost him what was stolen from him. I mean, he did not have a face. His nose was gone, his mouth and lips were indistinguishable and his eyes were just like sink wholes below his forehead.
But, inside the man there was a brilliant mind and a soul. I am reminded of the words of Jesus found in Matthew 10:28: “Don’t be in fear of those who can kill only the body, but not your soul. Fear only God, who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
I remind myself often that I am a living soul in a dying body. That is not something new. I have done that almost my entire Christian life. It is a fact check I put on my on own walk with God. The faceless man also had memories, but he had tried to drown them in a bottle. I wonder what caused him to come into the meeting that night? It could have been the music, it could
have been the joy of people, it could be he just liked to be around people who were not trying to forget who they were.
He walked out of the meeting that night, his past being his future. He walked into the room away from people, whom as the song said long ago, i.e., away from gazing into empty eyes, people walking busy streets, their lives abused, their minds confused, trying to find reality.
It appeared that he had quit searching and just had to live with the harsh reality of his own bad choices. HE WALKED AWAY AS HE HAD COME IN. HE WALKED AWAY FROM HOPE. He wore his shame on an expressionless countenance, but God still loved him, the same God that is able to read the tear-stained story of your life and mine.
God is married to His Covenant Word, and He is also married to the backslider. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. Behold, today is the day of
your salvation, and the Savior is waiting on you right now.
I not only care about your well being, I care about your soul. Keep looking up, God is looking down!
Your loving pastors, Cleddie & GayNell Keith