Come to Me
By Sarah Watt – Compassion DTS 2014
We met him prayer walking on the streets in Kolkata, India. He had only been listening in on the conversation we were having with someone one else when I got the words “intelligent” and “curious” for him. I invited him to come and visit us where we were staying, telling him that it was OK to question the religion he had grown up in. I challenged him to consider what was more important to him, being Muslim, or knowing for certain what he believed in.
He came to visit a couple times. On his second visit he told me about his life. I was challenged by how different it looked from mine. I had thought he was in his twenties. He wasn’t even eighteen. Yet he was the provider for his three sisters and responsible for the rent of his dead parents’ home. Before he left I prayed for him, found him a bible in Bengali, got his number and invited him to a bible study that would be starting in a couple weeks.
I thought about him just twice in the following weeks. Once was a few days later when words in my bible stood out to me and reminded me of this young guy. “Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” What an amazing word for a teenager carrying the responsibility of his family and the questions of a dead religion. On a tiny scrap of paper I wrote down the reference and his name, hoping I would remember to tell him about it if I saw him again.
Two weeks later I remembered him again suddenly. The bible study was starting that night so I had an Indian friend call and invite him. Just after it started that evening he walked timidly into the extravagant church. He sat in the back so I went and sat with him. But a few minutes later everyone in the church was split into three groups. The topic of the study was “Rest” and three groups were given three different verses to look at and discuss.
After reading the one I was assigned I looked up the references for the others. When I turned to Mathew 11:28 something fell out of my bible – the slip of paper that I had, until now, forgotten completely about. God had not forgotten though. At that moment, across the room from me, he was reading, studying and discussing that very verse.
I could barely sit still the rest of the lesson. I wanted to jump out of my seat right then and show him the evidence of that tiny piece of paper. Evidence that God loved him. That He wanted to show this son of his that he could lay down all of his burdens. Evidence that God was speaking to him the sweetest words he could hear – “come to me.”