by Marlene Evans
Founder of Christian Womanhood
IF YOU HAVE ACCEPTED spiritual reproduction as the goal for your life—yes, even your very reason for living—if you have paid the price by meeting the requirements, you will see some results.
The first year I was away from home, my mother had a serious operation, and I wrote my dad of my love and support of him, especially during that time. I told him I was sorry for the trouble I’d caused in my growing-up years.
He answered with these words: “We weren’t looking at the day-by-day picture but for the end result.”
I guess parents look for a harvest way down at the end of the row someplace. I have thought of that statement one million times as I’ve been led of God to work with college students almost 25 years. So often I’ve been tempted just to mark “zero” on a student! When I just about decide she will never be anything, that statement comes back to me saying, “Marlene, you’d better wait before you toss her out as hopeless. Look for the end result. Maybe you’ll get a good harvest this time.”
Several years ago a girl came to Hyles-Anderson College with more open rebellion and hostility than should be instilled in a lifetime. The bitterness and hatefulness almost floored me.
One dear older lady, loved by all the students, sweetly asked my girl, “What’s your name, honey?” to which the girl snapped, “What do you want to know for?” The student let me know shortly that she didn’t trust me or anyone else.
Some people thought I was strange to let her talk to me as I did. A few whispered about their sorrow for me since they could see that I didn’t “have the picture” on that girl. They no doubt suspected premature senility on my part. I don’t mean I let her get by with things I should have reported to my authorities, but you who work with kids know what you put up with sometimes while you’re waiting for the harvest.
Let me share some words from recent notes from her:
PLEASE PRAY FOR ME, Mrs. Evans. The verses in Romans 7:18, 19 have been so true of me. Why won’t people learn the first time? Everything you said I was, I am. I love you so much for seeing it and telling me. I wish I had been strong enough to take it. I guess the truth always hurts. I can see now how ugly I’ve been toward you. I am so sorry!
THE FIRST TIME I saw you or remember seeing you was the day after I received a note in my mailbox. It said, “See me in my office tomorrow.” I began checking you out! Just who was Mrs. Evans? I was 18 and thought that was pretty old! If I remember correctly, I couldn’t wait to get out of your office. I was rude and acted ugly. I thought for sure you really wanted to get me kicked out or something! Since then, you have gone through my terrible temper series—loud, noisy outbursts, uncontrollable sense of reasoning, the mini-bike escapade and hospital stay, other childish pranks, and mistrust of everything and everyone.
I guess I haven’t gotten rid of it all yet, but I know what to pray about and work on in hopes of having a well-balanced Christian life. I guess I’ve learned a lot in the years of classes, talks, phone calls, notes, and letters.
The harvest is beginning to come in! I plan to reap from now through eternity. Oh, the harvest time!