"I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits for long, so very long, in vain."
The preemie in the incubator slipped a little closer to death each moment. According to the doctors, he probably wouldn't last through the night.
"May I please be with him?" his mother asked, tears streaming down her birth weary face.
"For a little while," said the nurse, "though you need to rest to regain your strength."
The mother slid a rocker close to the incubator and slipped her hand through the opening on the side. She massaged the child's back, marveling over his silky skin. As she touched his little hands and feet, she began to sing, tentatively at first, then with more conviction. "Jesus loves you this I know..."
She stroked and sang until she fell asleep by his side, her hand still resting lightly on the little one's body.
Noticing that the mother had fallen asleep, a nurse slipped into the intensive care nursery to waken her and take her back to the room so she could rest. As she removed the mother's hand from the incubator, she noticed the baby was breathing easier and his heart beat appeared more regular.
After situating the mother in bed, the nurse returned to the nursery and sat down beside the baby. She reached into the incubator and stroked him, gently talking to him about how much his mother loved him. Though she had to attend to her duties, she returned whenever she could to touch and speak softly to the little one.
In the morning, the doctor noted the baby's improvement and allowed the mother to sit with him through the day. When she was discharged from the hospital, she returned each day to touch and sing to her baby. Night shift nurses took turns staying with him through the lonely overnight hours. And each day, the doctor was amazed at the child's improvement.
Another mother in a hospital two states away slept in a drunken stupor after giving birth to a child with fetal alcohol syndrome. He was hooked up to monitors and placed in an incubator. Though they monitored his vital signs closely, no one took the time to stroke his velvety soft skin or sooth his constant cries of pain. The child failed to thrive and the mother left the hospital wanting only to ease her own pain.
Both babies waited to be wanted. One felt the loving touch of its mother and those caring for him, the other was left alone to die.What made the difference in the lives of the two little ones? Touch - for one a touch that communicated love and "wanting" to his little life. For the other, there was no touch, only lonely sterility.
Our hands provide the touch so desperately needed by the world to respond to the love of Christ. Fragile lives full of pain wait to be wanted, unable to reach out on their own to respond to His love.
But do we want Him enough, long for Him enough, so that His gentle touch can ignite our wooden "religious" lives? He waits to be wanted by us today so we can bridge the gap to those who need to be wanted by Him.
This week, Debbie is hosting "In 'Other' Words" at her site, Praise and Coffee. If you'd like to participate, simply blog about the quote on your site, then visit Debbie to leave your blog address. Be sure to stop by and read the thoughts of the other participants and leave them a comment too!