When our daughter, Debbie Jean, was six, she disappeared one day. We searched everywhere for her – the other houses nearby, the shopping center, the schoolyard. I remember walking up and down a little dirt road calling, “Debbie Jean,” and fearing the silence. Two hours later she showed up and told us she had gone with a friend to a candy store and then on to the friend’s house. After the thunder, lightning and tears had passed, I reflected: During those two hours that my little girl was missing, there were books that I had to read, letters that I had to answer, telephone calls I had to make, planning I had to do – but I could think of only one thing: My little girl was lost. I had only one prayer, and I prayed it a thousand times, “God help me to find her.” But how often, I asked myself, had I felt the same terrible urgency about men who are lost from God?
What led Jesus to weep over Jerusalem? Or Paul to cry, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel?” Or John Knox to pray, “Give me Scotland or I die?” Or Henry Martyn to land in India saying “Here let me burn out for God?” Or George Whitefield to cross the Atlantic thirteen times in a small boat to preach in the American colonies? Or the aristocratic Lady Donnithorne of our own generation to go into the forbidden precincts of Hong Kong’s “walled city” to bring the healing of the gospel to the pimps and prostitutes? Or Jim Elliot and his friends to stain a river in Ecuador with their blood to reach and obscure Indian tribe?
They were gripped with a tremendous conviction that without Christ men really were lost in a deep and eternal way.
John Willis Zumwalt, Passion for the Heart of God, Page 172
quoting J. Oswald Sanders, How Lost Are the Heathen