For the LORD your God is God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great God, might and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes He . . . loves the alien giving him food and clothing. And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt. Deuteronomy 10:17-19
Therefore, remember that formerly you were once Gentiles in the flesh . . . that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you . . . have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:11-13
Sandy and I had a few minutes to talk and pray together this morning. Our conversation revolved around aliens (Sandy was born in Roswell, New Mexico. Honest!). We were not talking about that kind of alien -- the kind that are said to drop in on planet earth from a galaxy far away. No, we were talking about how intertwined our lives continue to be with people from other countries who are here in Columbus, GA.
Sandy is an ESOL teacher for four of the area schools: Shaw H.S., Blackmon Middle School, Blanchard Elementary, and Waddell. She is helping Arab, Indian, Israeli, Spanish, and other alien children learn to speak and write English. I am in my second year of discipling students from a large Asian country, and last week I led Luis to Christ. He is from Central America. Luis has been visiting Christ Community Church and heard the announcement that we were having a baptism on Sunday. He turned in a communication card indicating he wanted to know more about water baptism. I called him and we got together. I will not give you all the details now, but as he told me about his spiritual journey it was fascinating how clearly God was drawing Luis to Himself. When Luis finished I asked him if he understood what Jesus was all about. It was obvious to me that he needed someone to show him the way to God (I told him the story of the gospel). Luis was certain that he needed Christ to save him. In faith he called on Jesus to save him, and committed to following Him. Luis asked to be baptized on Sunday! I gladly accommodated him, and had the privilege of baptizing my new son in the Faith! The early morning conversation my bride and I shared showed us how God, with no planning on Bill and Sandy's part, intensionally intersects our lives with aliens. My bride described how she is falling in love with her students and the great compassion she feels for them. The students range from Kindergarten through High School, and there is no curriculum. Her mission is an incredible challenge.
We had to reluctantly end our conversation and go our separate ways. Before we separated I prayed a blessing on Sandy, thanked God for her beautiful heart, and asked our Father to bless her as she sought to be salt and light and a resource for those children who were alien to us, but not to Him. I also thanked God for the multi-colored, multi lingual, totally out of the box church where God so graciously allows me to be a voice for Him. I never want to forget the rock from which I was hewn, or the pit from which I was digged! Loving aliens is not so hard when we remember that all of us were at one time alienated from God.