On Saturday, October 29, a few friends and I went to an area that is known as a big party area during Halloween. I went dressed as me, rocking my sweatshirt from the Heathrow, London airport, jeans, and of course, my Cordones by TOMS. My friends went dressed as themselves too.
We didn’t go there to party. We did not have any alcohol. We did not smoke anything. We simply went to pray over people. To love on a generation and show them the love of Christ. We didn’t do this to be prideful about our faith. We didn’t do it in hopes that those we prayed for would say “you guys are really good people, keep doing what you’re doing”. We didn’t even do it because we had the boldness and guts to do it.
We did it because we are commanded to GO by God. We are told to love on those that are lost, broken, and searching for something more. I mean, look at the story of the Prodigal Son in the New Testament. The father loved his son even after he had fallen away and then returned. They threw a celebration when he came back!
Look at the Good Samaritan.
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus, saying: “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he (Jesus) replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” –Luke 10.25-29–
Then Jesus shares the story of the Good Samaritan. How a priest walked by someone who was beaten, stripped of his clothing, and left for dead by robbers, and did not stop to help him. A Levite did the same thing. And then, a Samaritan walked by and what he did is the reason why we did what we did last night.
The Samaritan bandaged this man’s wounds. The Samaritan checked him into an inn and paid for his care and his stay. Without hesitation. He was just loving his neighbor.
That’s what we wanted to do. Love our neighbors. We didn’t go expecting to see some huge miracle of someone being healed, of someone accepting Jesus and being saved, or even to expect half the people we asked if we could pray for them to let us. We simply believed Jesus could use us to do those things.
The point of this blog isn’t to rant about how we are supposed to love our neighbor. It isn’t to tell you that you should have gone out and done the same thing. It’s not even to convict you in the least bit, or should I say, “allow the Holy Spirit to convict you?”
My point is to share with you what I saw. This was my first time ever experiencing a party scene like I did. I saw frat houses for the first time. I saw lines outside of bars on every corner. I saw fights starting to break out that we had the privilege to help stop. I saw girls walking around in promiscuous costumes trying to get attention from guys. I saw guys walking around with no shirts on (sometimes even less than that) trying to get attention from girls. I saw alcohol take hold of several generations.
But you know what else I saw? I saw humanity in the mere form of God’s creation. I saw people that just wanted to be loved, who desired to experience a love so deep that they could stop searching for it in the things of this world. I saw girls who thought that maybe if they just “fit in” to the party scene they would be liked, if they could just get that one guy’s attention, if they could just finally be good enough to live up to this generation’s standards, life would be good. I saw guys that just wanted to be a prince for that special girl they hoped to marry one day. I saw Christians doing the same thing we were.
I didn’t just see a bunch of partying.
I saw hope.
I saw potential.
I saw people that JESUS shed His blood for on the Cross.
You may ask me how I saw this in the midst of people who are indulging in the things of this world: alcohol, sex, and drugs. I saw it because these people are still people. They still talked to us when we talked to them. They could still respond to our request to pray for them. Because when we asked God to show us people to pray for, specific costumes, images, names… He did. And when we went out and saw those people that God put on our hearts, we asked them if we could pray for them and they let us. Sure, not all of them let us, but they still saw the light of Christ.
We had people ask us why we were “so good”. We had people tell us to pray for someone other than themselves, such as those without jobs, because they recognized that this world has many problems and their struggles did not measure up to being “great enough” to need prayer. But we prayed for both because God cares for all.
We had people reject us and tell us they aren’t “prayers”. We had people say that we could pray for them and walk away. We had hugs and smiles. We had conversations that one wouldn’t usually have where we were at.
The point is, there is hope in this world. The point is, Jesus loves each and every one of those people. The things I saw on October 29 were rough. They hit me hard. I woke up with the sting of oppression from seeing frat houses getting shut down, knowing that in those houses there are people, people that God loves and cares about, that God has a future for, hope for, and purpose for.
These are real people, with real problems, that are loved by our very real God.
So, what am I going to do about it? Friends, Church, Brother’s and Sister’s in Christ, the average blog reader, I want to ask you to pray with me. Pray with me that God will move on the party scenes. Pray that the Lord will raise His laborers to go out onto the battlefield and fight for the lives of lost generations. Pray that those we spoke to will continue to be ministered to in other ways and come to know Christ. Pray that God would use YOU to reach this generation.
We need to put our faith with works and fully strive to make disciples like we are commanded in Matthew 28. Check out Pastor Aaron’s message “Life on Mission: SERVE” http://painesvilleag.com/life-on-mission and see how faith and works are absolutely necessary for fulfilling the Great Commission! Take a step of faith and do the work that God has called us to do!
Blogger, Writer, College Student