Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
Last week, I was out shopping for a birthday gift and ran into Barbara in the town section. I had not seen her in months. She was with her 4-year-old granddaughter Maggie.
Barbara and Maggie were shopping for Maggie’s birthday. Barbara had decided to let Maggie choose her own birthday gift. But the desires of little Maggie’s heart made it impossible for her to narrow her choices just to one. While Maggie was deliberating, Barbara and I caught up on the weeks since she had been in town and we had seen one another.
Then Barbara turned to Maggie and said: “Okay, Maggie … you can choose one thing.”
Maggie looked somewhat contemplative trying to decide what to choose. Finally, she said, “But Grammy, I need all of them!”
We all think we need many things at every stage of our lives. Our needs and wants may change through the years but reaching adulthood does not mean that we cease to have a desire for things.
We often try to fill their lives with things. Then when the new wears off, we realize we are back to wanting more.
Yet, all of us have a need that will never shift or vary with time. This need is the same for Maggie as it is for me and her grandmother and all the other little Maggies and grandmothers in the world. No matter now much we do have or how much we do not have, this need is universal. We have a need for a savior, and that need does not waiver as we grow older.
Years ago a missionary spoke and told story about a man in Africa. He and some other missionaries were in a village and on this particular night, all were meeting around a campfire when an old Samburu chieftain came to sit with them. The old chieftain sat down and then asked the missionaries why they were there.
The missionary responded, “I am here to tell you about God.” He went on to explain how God had revealed himself through Christ, lived among us, died on the cross and resurrected. He told him that he was the living Lord who can come into peoples’ hearts and they can know him.
The old chief replied: “Ah yes, I have felt him may times out here — I have known he was up there — but I never knew his name until now.” He felt the need for God and had felt the need to know Him.
Quite a different story is told of Lynda Carter, once star of the television series The Wonder Woman. She had all the benefits of stardom: fame, success, and financial security. But a void still existed within her. Emptiness and purpose were absent from her days. In fact, the more success she experienced, she confessed the emptier her life seemed.
Then Lynda Carter met Christ and gave her heart and life to him. She testified that Christ made a new person of her and consequently filled that void she felt, giving her purpose and direction for her life.
Two people from entirely different places had felt the same emptiness: a man on the frontier of Africa had and an American woman who had everything.
No matter what our circumstances may be famous or unknown, rich or poor, African or American, humble or cultured, we all need Christ.
Pascal said that within every person is a void that only can be filled with its creator. The old prophet wrote in Malachi 2:2, “Set your heart to know God.” Everyone has that opportunity.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: