Were You Colder Than This?
It was a cold winter's night in Korea. An expectant mother trudged through the freezing snow toward the home of a missionary friend where she knew she would find help. A short way down the road from the mission house was a deep gully spanned by a bridge. As the young woman stumbled along, birth pains overcame her. She realized she could go no farther and crawled beneath the bridge. There alone between the trestles she gave birth to a baby boy. She had nothing with her except the heavy padded clothes she was wearing. One by one she removed the pieces of clothing and wrapped them around her infant son - around and around, like a cumbersome cocoon. Then, finding a discarded piece of burlap, she pulled it over herself, and lay exhausted and shivering beside her baby.
The next morning the missionary drove her Jeep across the bridge to take a food basket to a Korean family. On the way back, as she neared the bridge, the vehicle sputtered and died, out of gas. She left the Jeep on the side of the road and started walking across the bridge toward the mission, but stopped when she heard a faint cry beneath her. She crawled under the bridge to investigate. There she found the tiny baby, warm but hungry, and the young mother frozen to death by his side.
The missionary took the baby home and cared for him. As the boy grew, he often asked his adopted mother to tell him the story of how she had found him.
On the 12th anniversary of his mother's death, the lad asked the missionary to take him to her grave. Once there he asked her to wait a distance away while he went to pray. The boy stood beside the grave with bowed head, weeping. Then he began to disrobe. As the astonished missionary watched, the boy took off his warm clothing, piece by piece, and laid them on his mother's grave.
Surely he won't take off all his clothing, the missionary thought. He'll freeze! But the boy stripped himself of everything, putting all his warm clothing on the grave. He knelt naked and shivering in the freezing snow. As the missionary went to him to help him dress, she heard him cry out to the mother he never knew: "Were you colder than this for me, my mother?" And he wept bitterly.
When Christ came, He stripped himself of every royal garment and entered into a world of hatred and cold indifference. Why did He do it? Because He saw that centuries of broken lives needed a Savior. And then He died of a broken heart. What broke it? The sin of mankind. The long history of men worshipping false gods in temples made with hands. War, bloodshed, crime, cruelty, sexual deviation, and greed - these things broke the heart of Christ.
But so did we. Our coldness broke His heart and now it freezes Him out. We complacent Christians who are outwardly satisfied, yet inwardly suffering from apathy! We who pray, "Give us compassion for a lost world," and then "sacrifice" a dollar for missions. We with our comfortable homes and apartments and brimming garbage cans. We who have the money, knowledge, and manpower to take the gospel to every creature, and yet we don't. We who say we love the lost, and neglect to tell a lost neighbor about a loving Savior. Jesus' love lies frozen between lips that ought to be warm to speak for Him.
Lord, we take off our garments of pride and self-righteousness, glittering but transparent filthy rags that they are, and lay them at Your feet. In our naked need we cry, "Were you colder than this because of us, Lord?" And we weep bitterly, because we know You were.
By Ruth Seamands.
To the world, you may just be somebody...but to somebody, you may be the world.
In His Steps Ministries