My earliest memories of my grandfather are vivid. After Sunday afternoon walks with the family we sometimes ended up in the Gasthaus, a quaint local gathering place in the middle of the village. The adults would sit with beer and wine and talked, while the kids played outside, often until late into the evening. First, conversations were peaceful and centered around the family. Later, when the Schnaps came out, my grandfather turned louder and less polite, cursing and going on about his hate of Jews.
He had grown up in a dysfunctional family. He had no anchor at home, no father who cared for him. Hitler’s propaganda and lies fell into fertile soil. The seed of hate was fed by the Hitler Youth, and later the German Army. All those provided my grandfather with a purpose and a place of belonging, an evil and wicked place.
Many years later, after I had moved to the States, I learned about Jesus and placed my trust in Him. I wrote my grandfather a letter telling him about God and His plan for him. He was ill with a lung disease. The letter arrived one day after he passed away. He never heard about the forgiveness of God in Jesus, at least not from me. I blamed myself for many years after that, for not having spoken up to him and for not having shared at a time he would have been able to listen.
Jesus Christ has promised us a place of belonging and purpose. In Him we find everything our hearts long for. Yet as Christians we fail to share the cure and fail to point the way to the place of belonging. We encounter many lost souls, many who are searching for a place of belonging and identity. Before Satan fills them with His counterfeit, let’s go and share about our King and Messiah, Jesus Christ, who came to show us the way to God.
I have come into the world as light,
so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.
(Heidi Viars, 2016)
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