As my co-workers and I ministered to those who had come forward for prayer at the end of a service, I noticed an elderly grandmother cradling two small children in her arms. She was weeping and begging us to pray for her grandchildren.
“Pray that God will protect them,” she cried as she set them down. “Please pray that they will grow up safe and happy, that they won’t get into gangs and drugs. Please?”
My heart broke for this woman and her grandchildren, so innocent and beautiful. Her eyes cried out for help, for guidance, for any kind of relief from the pain and helplessness of life in the ghetto. I hugged her and then bent down to pray for the children. She continued to heave and sob the entire time.
There are so many people in this world who are lost and lonely and hurting, people who have nowhere to turn and no idea how to escape Satan’s evil grip. Jesus is the only one who can help them. All they need is someone to point them toward the Cross, someone to care enough to take them by the hand and lead them into the arms of their Creator, someone to hold them and love them into the kingdom.
When I finished praying, I put my arms around the elderly woman and kissed her on the forehead. “Don’t worry,” I told her. “Everything will be all right. Jesus understands.”
There is something about staring into the eyes of hopelessness, despair, and absolute grief that brings the gospel message home to you in a way that nothing else can. Your life takes on a renewed sense of purpose and urgency and you want to spend every waking moment of your life sharing your faith and setting captive souls free.
Reaching people for Jesus is what my life is about. “Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled’” (Luke 14:23). I challenge you to join me and ask yourself this question: If I don’t help them, who will?
Nicky Cruz, internationally known evangelist and prolific author, turned to Jesus Christ from a life of violence and crime after meeting David Wilkerson in New York City in 1958. The story of his dramatic conversion was told first in The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson and then later in his own best-selling book Run, Baby, Run.