Recently, I was on a work trip to Richmond, VA, to visit the International Mission Board. As a military missionary, the work of vocational mission training is at my very core. My heart is for the nations, and I pray often that revival will sweep through the warrior class today.
While touring the building, I came across a wall of honor. These carefully curated memorials cause onlookers to pause and seek remembrance. It’s a sight I am familiar with in my own context; and, for me, these walls of honor pull me into a state of reverence and praise. These praiseworthy individuals represented only by gold plates and embossed letters had given their lives–not had them taken–for the cause of Christ.
I placed my hand on the wall next to the name of a 38-year-old woman named Karen Watson from Bakersfield, CA. She died on the mission field in Iraq in 2004. A hand-written letter was framed on the wall–a letter she had written to her pastors with the instruction to open on the event of her death.
In short, her words sliced through me and reminded me of the work yet to do: “When God calls, there are no regrets, I wasn’t called to a place. I was called to Him.… To obey was my objective, to suffer was expected, His glory was my reward–His glory is my reward.”
She ended her letter with these words: “The Missionary Heart: Care more than some think is wise. Risk more than some think is safe. Dream more than some think is practical. Expect more than some think is possible. I was called not to comfort or success, but to obedience.”
When I think about how she must have felt when she penned these words, I am still overcome. When we sit down to write about God’s love, is this the attitude we posture? Obedience. A willingness to suffer. His glory, the prize.
Reflecting on God’s call on every believer’s life to participate in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19), what an honor it is to be able to write about His goodness and mercy. I hope that today, if you’re writing, you would start today’s work with a missionary heart.
May the words we write today reach into tomorrow and give the message of the gospel in such a way that God’s love shows through to those who so desperately need to hear it.