It never fails. There I am, waiting for church to start, and in walks The Girl. Her clothes are tight, except where they’re nonexistent. The too-high heels belong in a nightclub—but she’s too young to gain admittance. She sways her hips down the side aisle as if to say, “I do things you wouldn’t approve of. Yes, I’m that kind of girl.”
And just as I begin to pity her parents—and slip into scandalized thoughts—I remember: Pray for her. Pray, don’t judge. Plead with God to open this child’s heart to all that is good and pure and right. Beg the Holy Spirit to pour out wisdom and peace upon her. Request wisdom for her mother and father. Ask what, if anything, God wants me to do (besides pray) to help turn her life in a better direction.
God didn’t put The Girl in my line of vision because He needed my help in condemning her. He put her there because He’s trusting me to be a living model of His infinite care. And if the devotional life is about loving our neighbors, it behooves me to remember that every time I see red because of some sort of scandal, it’s really a red flag that someone needs prayer.