I’ve become quite lame in my old age. Growing up I was always a fan of rides and rollercoasters; the scarier, the higher, the faster— the better. I’m not sure when or how this changed. I just know two years ago, I walked a million stairs with my daughter, Graycen, while hauling a huge water tube only to have a panic attack half way down.

The beginning of the water slide was fine, it was a tunnel and for the first few moments our path was lit from the entrance, it wasn’t until we curved and my world became pitch black that panic set in. Our tube was turning with each curve, and I was no longer sure which way I was facing. I could hear my daughter (laughing hysterically) but not being able to see her did something to me— What if she fell off? What if she hit her head? My stomach twisted with nausea, and I felt the familiar beginnings of a panic attack. I was trapped, there was no exiting, no quitting, just moving forward until it was over. The ride, though probably no more than thirty seconds, felt never ending as the panic overtook me.

That is a sliver of a glimpse of what I imagine it is like to live without truth. Imagine with me for a moment going through life with nothing to cling to, just time propelling you forward. Imagine living in the dark with nothing to direct you, nothing to lead you, you can’t get off, you can’t see where you came from or where the end is. Imagine how terrifying it would be to never have the comfort that God’s word gives you, to be born from nothing, which means you are nothing.

I tell this story because the closest I’ve ever come to living without truth was during a season of anxiety and panic. I was so desperate for the panic to end that I searched and searched for any solution, specifically the quickest. I spent all kinds of money on supplements which didn’t touch it;, I called hotlines promising miracles, I told every passing person my story hoping for a word that would cure me. That is what the lost are doing. They are desperately searching to fill and heal something only God can. It doesn’t need to be a rational answer, it just needs to be an answer. They don’t want THE truth they just want A truth. They are desperate and they are hurting.

It is so easy to scoff and roll our eyes at the lost. To look at them as wicked and horrible, beyond saving, but that is not what we are called to do. We are called to be a city on a hill. A beacon of light in their dark world, we are supposed to draw them in with our warmth, welcome them with love and then show them a cross shaped stake in the ground that they can cling to. Christ showed this so beautifully, he sat with the people the world called wicked and he handed them the truth, which is a deeper love than mere acceptance.

My challenge this week is to reassess the other side. To put yourselves in their shoes and have compassion instead of judgment, love instead of hate.