Maybe five years ago he passed through the house. I was a guest. His dad introduced us. He was in his early twenties and completely indifferent to his dad and to me. Let me say it another way; he could care less. Richard and I continued our sobering visit. My friend had a brain tumor which was clawing its way through his head. He had no idea about God but due to this drastic state, he had opened to the possibility. I had flown to Chicago to talk with him. We had grown up in the same town. He had never gone to church in his 54 years.
We talked. We cried. He asked me to baptize him. I did. Then Richard Haley died a few weeks later.
Today I received a long letter from his indifferent son. Now thirty years old, he is crying out for help. His cry beats his dad's in age by twenty-some years. He is in Cook County jail in Chicago. On December 11th he will find out if he gets a second chance or goes up for six to eight years. He mentioned he cried the entire time he penned his words to me.
Rich wants to know if I could pray for him, if I could tell him about God, and if I would call his mother to check on her. I will to all three.
For now I want you to try to envision this young man a few years ago when I first met him. I want you to feel his smugness; sense his disdainful attitude toward showing respect to any. He was caught up in a blind trust of nothing going nowhere downhill. Look at him. Look again. Study him. Do you see him being interested in just a few years? Do you see him crying over his wreck of a life? We must.
Look at him and then take a good look at the smugness coming from some of your associates. Be there, my friend, with seed-sowing kindness and interest. The day is coming that many in your circle who snub you now will reach back...for your help. God works and troubled hearts want him....on their timetables; not ours.
Look at the room full of people. None you see are exempt from needing God. Don't assume otherwise.