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Feb 14 - Holding His Hand
Do you remember how miserable you felt the year you didn't get a Valentine? When everyone else in your class got one, or when all your friends received them, but not you? Being excluded is a miserable feeling for anyone, isn't it? And it was a miserable feeling years ago for a young boy living in the slums of London named Geoffrey. When he heard that a fiery American evangelist named D.L. Moody had come to preach in a local church, he decided to go hear him. After walking all day, he arrived at the church just as the sun was setting. The stained glass windows reflected the setting sun and in the stillness of the evening air, he could hear the people within the church singing. The sight and sound seemed like heaven to him.
Geoffrey didn't hesitate. He bounded up the long, sweeping staircase that led to the massive front door. Just as he was about to enter, a big hand grabbed him by the shoulder, spun him around, and inquired sharply, "Just where do you think you're going, laddie?" Geoffrey responded stiffly but truthfully, "I heard Dr. Moody was going to preach here tonight. I've walked all the way across London to hear him." The big doorman looked down at the little boy with uncombed hair, unwashed face, unclean clothes, and unshod feet, then stated emphatically, "Not you! You're too dirty to go inside!" The doorman then folded his arms across his big chest, spread his thick legs, and stood squarely in front of the door, blocking the entrance.
Geoffrey lifted his little chin, squared his little shoulders, glared back at the doorkeeper, then stalked off the front porch. He was confident he could find another way into the church. But as he walked around the building, all the other doors were solidly locked and the windows were too high for him to even attempt an entry. He ended up back on the front steps where he plopped down in weariness and discouragement. In spite of his street cultivated toughness, tears began to trickle down his grimy cheeks.
Just then a very distinguished looking gentleman began briskly climbing the stairs. When he reached Geoffrey's step, he glanced over and noticed the tear stains on the young boys cheeks. He stopped abruptly and inquired, "What's wrong?" Geoffrey blurted out in response, "I came to hear Dr. Moody preach, but they say I'm too dirty to go inside."
The big man looked down at the little boy, then extended his hand. "Here, take my hand." Geoffrey lifted his grimy little hand and placed it in the hand of the stranger, who clasped it tightly, and invited him to "Come with me." And Geoffrey did.
Hand in hand they walked up the long sweeping staircase. When they came to the huge door, the very same doorkeeper who had formerly forbidden the boy to enter, now hastily opened the door wide. With the man still gripping his hand, Geoffrey walked through the open door and down the center aisle of the church already filled with worshipers, until he came to the very front row. With every eye on them, the big man seated him there in front of the entire church. Then the big man walked on up the steps to the platform, stood behind the pulpit, and began to preach! The man was D.L. Moody!
The only reason Geoffrey was allowed inside the church that evening was because he was holding the hand of D.L. Moody. His acceptance in that church was solely based on his identification and relationship with the great preacher.
After the long journey of life, we are going to look up and see heaven. We're going to hear voices lifted in songs of praise. We're going to see the glory of God radiating from within, and we're going to long for Home. But we will be forbidden to enter. Heaven is closed to us, because we are too dirty in our sin to enter.
But God loves you! God loves you! God loves you so much that He sent His own Son to offer you His hand at the Cross. Jesus is God's personal Valentine to you! When you receive His Son and put your hand of faith in His, your sins are forgiven and you enter into a personal relationship with Him. He then walks with you hand in hand through the remainder of life's journey. You may feel lonely and excluded at times by others, but you will never again be alone or excluded by God! Not even for one second! And one day, when you reach the gates of Heaven, they will be opened wide because you are holding the hand of God's Son. And you will live in your Father's House forever because you are His and He is yours! God really does love you!
 This true story was told to my mother by Geoffey (I've changed his name) when he was an old man.