It was just another summer day when he showed up, a shirtless, shoeless, 9 year old boy on his bicycle. The kids in the yard had given him a reason to stop and so he made his way over to our yard. His name was Bobby and he lived “over there”, at least that is what he told us, pointing to some place in the distance. We were throwing baseballs around when he showed up, so I asked him if he ever played before. He told me no and proceeded to throw a fast ball right at my glove. He maybe had never played, but he sure had an arm. Whatever the case, Bobby started showing up at our house to play with the kids each day. It was obvious he needed a place to go and people to care for him. If we went for a walk, he came along. If we left to go to the grocery store, Bobby was asking to come along. Details about mom, dad, or anything really, were few and far between. All we knew was that he lived “over there.”
One week we decided to invite Bobby to church. I had no idea whether he would actually come or not, but my kids were hoping that he would and were watching closely for him to come. Sure enough, just before 10 a.m., one lone boy entered the church, with a shirt and shoes, to attend a worship service for what appeared to be the first time. He sat and listened. He looked around and was willing to talk with people. He even stuck around for the potluck meal afterward. He received a Bible for coming that day and he was really excited to receive it. We felt like we were ministering to this boy and then he disappeared. He went "over there" and never came "over here" again.
I sometimes wonder what happened to Bobby? Where is he? What is he doing? What came of that Bible or the couple hours he spent in the church on a random Sunday morning? I do not know. One thing I do know is that God knows. You see, in our communities are many people just like Bobby. These are people that, for whatever reason, are living “over there” with vague issues and no real place to connect with God. Pain and despair weight heavy. Guilt and fear seem like they are always close by. But despite all of the mistakes that have been made and the rebellion that so many find themselves in, The Lord longs to be gracious to them. He longs to answer the prayers of people who need a place to land because all of us were apart from Him at some point.
He longs to help you as well, in whatever it is you find yourself in. Maybe you have not been to church in years and you feel like coming back now would be “too late.” That is not the case. We find in the Scriptures that despite the sinfulness of humanity, God desires to be gracious. He is patient, loving, and compassionate. He knows all about sin and pain.
“Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.”
Our church is here in Battle Lake to help people connect with God by a relationship with Jesus Christ. You are welcome to join us to see for yourself the love God has or you.
Find out more about us on our about us page.
Join us on Sundays at 10 a.m. -- You are welcome here.