I saw his name come up on facebook and clicked the profile out of curiosity.
Yes, it was him. Someone I knew from an old job - barely an acquaintance, but I had sat across from him at a hamburger place with a co-worker, listening to him spill out a story much too private and heartbreaking for our short lunch break meeting. He was barely out of his teens, climbing out of a childhood laced with abuse and pain and abandonment, but somehow optimistic - confident in his newly found identity, pursuing a life-style that my co-worker was quick to affirm. I was silent, unsure of what to say, eating my fries and watching his face as he spoke. But his eyes gave something away.
Now, several years later, I recognized the same look in his pictures. A confident, care-free pose, but emptiness and pain behind the gaze. No doubt, what he had been chasing did not satisfy.
Still, he was stumbling down the same path, perhaps hoping that it might eventually bring him the fulfillment of his heart's most ardent craving: love.
We were made to know this love, to be completely known by Another. And yet, so many run in every direction but the right one - scrambling, falling, searching, hurting.
Look around. Sometimes it's obvious and sometimes it's not, but look - the hunger, the search, is there.
It's in young girls, dressed for eyes that shouldn't be looking, searching for acceptance. It's in the drunk man shuffling by on a Friday night, in the homeless guy at the corner shaking a cup for change, in the quiet woman waiting for her bus, in the business man with the expensive looking suit.
It's in every soul that's bent on drawing from this world what only God can ultimately give - healing, forgiveness of sin, mercy beyond what we could ever dare hope for, love vaster than we can imagine, real joy. What we were created for - to know and be known by our Creator.
Taking one last look at my old acquaintance's face, I closed facebook, closed my eyes, and prayed for this lost soul.
Pursue him, Lord, wherever he is. Use Your children to be salt and light, to share the good news that,
"...when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy..." Titus 3:4,5
You are still offering salvation, Father, may we be eager to tell about it...