Editor’s Note: So many girls across the country have been preparing speeches for the Lads to Leaders convention and were unable to give them because it was cancelled. We are spending the next few weeks celebrating the hard work of these young ladies by sharing their speeches with you! We are so incredibly proud of them and know that you will be encouraged and uplifted by their words.
Anna Cherry – grade 8
Jenks Avenue Church of Christ, Panama City, FL
What Are You Looking For?
“What are you looking for?” The widow was asked as she searched everywhere for her lost coin. “What are you looking for?” The shepherd was asked as he left his 99 sheep to go find the one. “What are you looking forward?” The father was asked as he looked off into the sunset hoping his son would return. We can read about these stories in Luke 15. People looking, searching, and hoping. But why? The answer is simple…how can the lost be found if no one looks for them?
Felicity, a runaway, had been spiritually lost for about 2 years. Doing things she knew she shouldn’t. She passed a sign nearly every day that said, “Come Home.” This had a description of a girl who had been missing about 2 years. She did not realize until she read the fine print one day that it was from her parents. Immediately something stung her heart. “Why would they want me back”, she often said to herself. She longed to go home. Broken, lonely, hopeless, and recognizable from the girl who left home 2 years before.
Borrowing a phone from a lady at the bus station, she called her dad’s cell phone and left a message, saying all she could get out, “Dad, it’s me”, and hung up. Five minutes later, her phone rang. Not knowing what her dad would say, she told him quickly that the bus was going to be in Traverse City around 11:00, and she understood if they wouldn’t come. She was so nervous that she hung up before her Dad could say anything.
The bus pulled in to Traverse City right on time. Timidly, she stepped timidly down the steps of the bus and into the station. The first thing she saw and heard was shouts form a huge crows that said, “Welcome home, Felicity”. She froze in shock of the moment. Emerging from the center of the crowd her dad’s old foot steps turned into a jog. As he ran with open arms, he stared into her eyes now filled with tears. She began the speech she had rehearsed a thousand times on the bus ride. “Dad, I am so sorry about the things…..”, but before she could finish, he interrupted her. “Shhh, It’s okay, welcome home.”
A lot of people, like Felicity, need to hear the words “Welcome Home”, but so many people don’t know how to get a bus ticket home. So, where do we fit in? Well, we are sort of like the posters or the messengers that tell the lost people of the world that it’s time to “come home”. Mat 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl, instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your father in heaven.” God tells us here to be the example, to be the light shinning in the dark world.
To the girl that sits by herself at lunch, be the light. To your co-worker that nobody really hangs out with, be the light. To that person who really gets on your nerves, be the light. To that kid who bullies everyone at school or even to the group of friends who think they are better than everyone, be the light. Jesus says to, “shine our light”, “before others”. Especially those who don’t know him or are lost…because how can the lost be found if nobody looks for and shares the gospel with them?
There are so many Felicitys out there to whom God longs to say, “Welcome Home”. They are broken, lonely, hopeless and lost. But how can they be found if nobody looks for them?
Who will look for them if we do nothing? Mark 16:15 says to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Will you go and look for the lost people of the world? Jesus says in Luke 15:7, “There is more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who do not need to repent.” God rejoices in heaven when one of his lost sheep comes home. So what are you looking for?