Today I arrived in the Denver airport quite a few hours before my flight departed. I sat with one of my fellow Ellerslie students who was also going home until her flight left, and then I meandered towards my gate.
I was passing by a booth where a woman was trying to get people to sign up for the airline's credit card, and I heard her trying to attract people's notice.
"Sir, what airline are you flying today?" Her voice was strident, whining.
"Would you like to get a free flight?" It sounded like she was working as hard as she could to hide the fact that she desperately hated her job.
People brushed past her, hurrying here and there to their flights, and I myself scooted around the long way so she wouldn't have a chance to catch me.
Then the Lord spoke to my heart.
"Why don't you speak to that woman?"
I froze. "What?"
"Go up and speak to her."
My mind started racing. What would I do?
I was riding one of those conveyor belts they have in airports, going away from her. God asked me, "Do you love her enough to turn around and go back to her?" Then He gave me this supernatural love welling up inside me for her, and when I got to the end of the moving walkway, I turned around and rode the belt back.
She was speaking with a customer. Was that a good enough excuse for me to give up the idea? God asked me, "Do you love her enough to wait for her to finish with this person?" Then He gave me an extra dose of love for her, welling up inside me and loving her with Jesus's love. I sat against a wall, praying for her, and praying for the strength to go up and speak to her, and God gave it to me. I didn't really know what I would say.
First I let her give me the plug for the credit card. I listened. Then I said, "Actually, I came over here because I wanted to talk to you."
She looked shocked.
"I understand if you're working, and if you're busy and can't talk, I'll go away. But I noticed how hard you were working, and..."
I was floundering. I didn't know where I was going. Her face manifested great curiosity of what this odd person was going to say to her. I saw that she was intrigued, listening, and it gave me courage to go on.
"...I was just wondering if you knew about Jesus."
Her face hardened. She gave a curt "Yes."
"And do you love Him?" I asked. All the love inside me wanted to gush all over her.
Her face grew harder still. "I'm...okay with him."
"And do you know that He loves you?" I said. I hoped that she would sense God's love as it poured through me to her.
"Yes," she said, coldly.
"Listen," she continued, "Why don't you hit up my coworker over there?"
"Do you think she would be more interested?" I asked in a soft voice.
"Who knows?" she said. The hardness in her eyes glittered with deep-buried hurts. "Maybe."
"Well, I'll just leave you with that thought," I said wistfully.
She gave a brief nod and turned away. Hard lines remained in the set of her jaw. The conversation was over.
I walked down the hallway of the airport concourse, filled with a sense of having obeyed and left the results up to God. That was all I had to do, I realized.
And then God shared with me a little piece of His heart.
His love for that woman filled up my heart and overflowed into tears. She won't receive His love, and His heart weeps for her. He shared with me His tears. He offered me a glimpse of His Father-heart that loves and loves and loves her. He found a willing servant in the airport and sent her to that woman today because He loves her. She rejected that love. She pulled back from it. She closed herself off to it. And His Father-heart weeps, groans, laments, because this woman is precious to Him and she is cold and unresponsive to His call. Today I cried Jesus's tears.
How could I cry for a complete stranger? How could I care about a woman with an annoying voice, selling a credit card I don't want? How could it be that the tears are running down my cheeks even now at the remembrance of the story?
Because when God finds a willing servant, sometimes he shares His heart. He gives us just a tiny little dose of what His Father-heart feels when one of His children departs far from Him. We feel what He feels. And this burden sends us to prayer.