Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My Princess Concert

A few weeks ago, a family member gave us two tickets to see the Cincinnati Pops perform selections from various Disney movies. It looked to be the perfect mommy and daughter date since my daughter loves princesses and mommy loves concerts. I had been to Music Hall in Cincinnati for more concerts than I could count, but it was the first time that I had taken my daughter to a real, full length concert there.

The setting was perfect. Our seats were actually box seats, which to Lauren looked like seats that kings and queens would sit in. So we pretended to be a queen and princess, dressed in our dress up clothes, ready to watch a royal concert in the concert hall. It was a picture perfect mommy and daughter experience.

At intermission, though, after we returned to our seats from stretching our legs, a potty break, and a quick run to the second and third floors to see the massive chandeliers, Lauren looked out across the expansive concert hall full of people returning to their seats and asked a question that took me off guard.

"Mommy," she asked, "do all these people here love Jesus?"

It took me off guard because, while I was enjoying my time with my daughter, the box seats we were in had made me self-conscious. I had sat in the cheap seats enough to know that the people in the box seats are almost on display. You can see their every move, every cough, every nose picked, and though I was enjoying the show, the thought of possibly being seen by thousands of people if I did something dumb, like not realizing that my skirt was tucked into my panty hose or something, made me increasingly want to run and hide.

All that changed, though, the instant that question came out of her mouth. I suddenly thought of the eternal fate of the thousands of others in the room and had a realization that, no, most of those people didn't know Jesus and no, they won't be going to Heaven. When before I was worried about them judging me, now I was inconsolably sad for them. Before, those box seats were something that made me want to hide, now I wanted to stand tall and preach to the huge crowd that there is a Jesus in Heaven that loves them and wants them to turn to Him.

I realized that if the concert hall was on fire and I was the only one who knew the way out, I would have no trouble risking life and limb by standing tall on my seat and yelling to the crowd, "THIS IS THE WAY TO SAFETY!" And that would just be a way to protect their mortal life. I would be all the more motivated to do it to protect their eternal life.

But I didn't. I stayed in my seat and quietly told Lauren that no, not everyone in that hall loved Jesus. She asked if they were going to go to hell when they died and I told her, yes, according to the Bible, the only way to Heaven is through Jesus. Then the house lights dimmed and that was the end of the conversation. But for the rest of the concert, I couldn't get that thought out of my head and kept wondering if I should risk getting arrested, or at least thrown out, by standing up on my chair and showing that giving people the right answer and the way to safety was more important than some concert we all had gathered for. Instead, I quietly prayed for everyone there that if they didn't know Jesus, that by the end of the day, their heart would be stirred toward Him. And that was that.

In Matthew 28:19, Jesus says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." How far are we willing to go to do that? How far were the early apostles willing to go to do that?

I'm not necessarily saying it's a good thing to stand up in the middle of a concert and start preaching Jesus. That will likely create more enemies of Him than followers. But will you go as far as taking the time to consider the hearts of those around you? Will you go as far as possibly making a fool of yourself so someone else can spend eternity with God? Would you risk your life to get them out of a burning building? Why would you not put forth the same level of risk to save them from an eternity separated from God?

You know the way to safety. You have the remedy. You know the great healer and protector. But we love each other so little that we'd rather sit back and watch someone burn than put forth any effort to show them Who can pull them from the fire. If someone wouldn't have shown you the way to safety, you'd be burning too. Pay the favor forward.

Don't sit back and watch someone burn alive.


Rebecca said...

I love this, Jenny! Thank you!

Jenny Wright said...

Thanks! :)