"Where do they all come from?"
"Where do they all come from?" You can't help but wonder when you drive the freeways of southern California—which we were doing last weekend for the wedding of my nephew, Vaughn Nelson. As we drove back from San Diego to my mother's home in Banning late Sunday evening, the stream of red taillights flowed ahead of us like a winding crimson river, matched only by the yellow-white streak of headlights flowing toward us on the opposite side of the night median. "Where do they all come from?" California boasts more licensed drivers (nearly 23 million) than any other state. And Sunday night half of them must have been on the highway! Makes you wonder, doesn't it? When God gazes down upon this aging planet in the night, what is it he sees? The white-laced blue-green curvature of our earth as seen by the orbiting Shuttle astronauts above us right now? Or does his sweeping eye zoom in much, much closer—beyond the wispy wide-angle shot to a telephoto deep into the dark heart of earth’s inner city thoroughfares? Calcutta, Beijing, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sydney, Cairo, London, Chicago, Benton Harbor—are we a stream of headlights and taillights to him? "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth" (II Chronicles 16:9). After all, even if we are a rebel race on the run, aren't we still his children? And if we are, then wouldn't a paternal heart of love be on the move 24/7 in hopes of finding even one—just one—runaway lost in the dark but who may be searching for the road to come home? No wonder he peers amidst the ribbons of dark and light: "The eyes of the LORD are on those whose hope is in his unfailing love" (Psalm 33:18). But how can they hope in One they do not know? And how can they know, if they do not hear? And how can they hear, if they are not told? You can't drive away from that stream of headlights without wondering if you're doing all that is in your power to tell them... at least one of them... can you?