We spent the afternoon in our favorite Boston stomping grounds today. We had the rare opportunity to see both ends of the spiritual spectrum. We’ve had an “outreach” going in Boston for almost a year now, and we’ve encountered very few Christians from the area. In fact, in this past year we have only met one Christian from the Boston area. We’ve talked to countless people, but those who actually profess Christianity almost invariably have an accent to accompany their beliefs. Very often the few Christians we do meet are either international students/travelers, or they are coming from other parts of the US. The spiritual drought in Boston and the Northeast in general is what has given us such a heart for the city; just knowing that we are in “enemy territory” is simultaneously inspiring and terrifying. Meeting Christians from the area has been a rare but edifying experience that keeps us going even as the weather gets colder. It is these brothers and sisters in Christ like those that we met today that remind us that God’s hand is in all that we do.
We met Todd and Tara outside of our favorite Starbucks on the corner of Berkeley and Boylston. They spotted the Bible in Mark’s hand and were brave enough to strike up a conversation. Keeping in line with our history of there being no Christians from Boston we quickly found that Todd was from Tennessee and Tara was from Florida. They are both attending Babson College and are leaders in Campus Crusade for Christ. We had a great time getting to know our new friends and even ended up going to church with them the next day. We are really excited about seeing their heart for the city of Boston. They, too, have a yearning to preach the Gospel and see people come to Jesus. It is our hope and prayer that we will together be missionaries and that we will see many people grow in their relationship with Christ along with many others who will come to know him for the first time.
After talking with Todd and Tara we went to Copley Square where we spend close to an hour talking with Shawn. Shawn is a skateboarder who was hanging out watching his friends while he took a break. We spoke to him about his faith and he shared with us that he wanted to believe in God, a heaven and hell, but couldn’t bring himself to. Shawn wanted more to live for. This testified to the truth that God has written eternity on the hearts of man and we long to see our Creator. Shawn wanted a God to believe in but could not find enough reason to believe it. We asked him who Jesus was and he said that he believed Jesus was just another leader who happened to have a larger following than most. He was someone special but certainly not God. Shawn typified a post-modern mindset. He sought a faith that took many different elements and combined them into something that worked for him. He wanted to compose his own subjective truth from other truths that were partially relative to him. The idea of objective truth seemed almost foreign to Shawn. He had read a little of the Bible but found it boring and stopped. He wasn’t looking for life but for entertainment. Shawn thought Jesus was a good person but was more concerned about us trying to “convert” him. He enjoyed talking but certainly did not see how Jesus could be God. We are praying for him, that God would reveal himself to Shawn and that we will see Shawn again in the future.
This night was a rare night. On one hand we had the privilege of meeting some great new friends who are seeking after God and want to see people come to know him. On the other hand we saw how others see God as distant and foreign, if even real, and beyond our reach. Our hearts go out to both tonight. For those who know the Lord we pray for them to be held up and encouraged to grow in their faith. For those whose eyes are blinded and cannot see the saving grace of Jesus we pray for salvation. Amen.