Head banner.
CCM Periodicals Reading Room   


Why Can't Someone Else Go?

“Why Can't Someone Else Go?”

My son, I am afraid that I have to answer your question in writing since I was not able to make any sense to you the other day.

You remember that day when we were lying in bed talking. I held your little hand in mine and tried to make up with you for the days I was away in Lynchburg, Washington, DC, Winnipeg and Vancouver. I was away for only two weeks. But after I came home, it took me another two weeks to rest up and catch up with my work.

So by the time I held your five-year-old hand in mine and gave you my full attention, I had not been communicating with you for at least a month.

Even though our hands were locked, I could sense that you were hurt. By the time I asked you, “Do you like Daddy to be home?” your tears almost came out. Restraining yourself by sniffing your nose, you asked me, “Why do you always have to go away?”

“Amos, you know that Daddy has to go and tell people about Jesus, don't you?” I tried to let my voice sound natural, controlled and reasonable.

“But why can't someone else go?” you asked, trying to conceal your hurt. Son, I was honestly stunned by your question. As I was trying to think of a good answer to explain to you, you continued.

“Why does it have to be you?”

I did try to explain that others who were called by God did have to go, and that one day—if God were to call you—you might have to do the same, and then you too would have to explain to your son.

But that line of argument simply did not make sense to you. And I don't blame you for not understanding it.

My dear child, your daddy has to go away again tomorrow—this time only for a long weekend, even though it does involve a July 4.

As I was making preparation for my leaving tomorrow, I thought of you. I thought of your raising the same question over and over again in your mind during this coming weekend.

I can well imagine that your eyes, a mere 40 inches above the ground, might be blurred briefly when you see other children on a July 4 picnic with their daddies with them.

My heart is saddened when I realize that you will be sitting in church this Sunday without me pointing out the words to you as the congregation sings.

You will probably have a good time with Patrick and Mama at the local park watching the fireworks. The spectacular lights will dull your mind for a while. But I dread to think of the moment when you are back to your bed trying to get to sleep. You will be thinking of me with your eyes staring up at the ceiling, and I will be too busy preaching or counseling 450 miles away.

My son, you may not understand now, but let me explain to you in writing so that one day you may understand why your father has to go away, even though he would much rather just stay home with your Mama, Patrick and you.

You know, my son, your brother asked similar questions two years ago when he was five. I remembered kissing you good-bye one morning two years ago, and then went over to kiss your brother.

As I stooped down to kiss your brother, he turned his face just so slightly to indicate his displeasure.

“Don't you like Daddy to kiss you?” But your brother was silent.

Suddenly I realized that he did not like my going away. I tried to justify my having to leave by saying, “Patrick, do you know why Daddy has to go?” He shook his head. “Daddy has to go and tell others about Jesus.” Another pause. I went on, “You know, there are many who do not know Jesus yet, and Daddy has to go and tell them.”

Your brother turned his head toward my direction but not enough to meet my eyes. Then he asked, “Can't someone else go?” His tone betrayed his injured soul—just like yours did a few days ago.

So my son, I guess I am not just writing to you alone, but to your brother as well.

So for you both, Patrick and Amos, I would like to explain to you now, so that I can have peace with myself, and hopefully one day you will read this with understanding.

“Why can't someone else go?” you asked.
My sons, someone else did.
Someone else did come and live and preach.
Someone else did give up His all that we might have all.
Someone else did in fact die that we might live.

“Why can't someone else go?” you asked.
My sons, someone else did.
Someone else did come and live and preach.
Someone else did come as Polycarp, Francis and Augustine.
Someone else did offer up his life at the stake.
Someone else did give up his life to the poor that they might know what riches were.

“Why can't someone else go?” you asked.
My sons, someone else did.
Someone else did come as Luther, Edwards and Wesley.
Someone else did risk his life against enormous odds without counting the cost.
Someone else did crisscross the Atlantic and ride endlessly on horseback to reach the lost.

“Why can't someone else go?” you asked.
My sons, someone else did.
Someone else did come and live and preach.
Someone else did come as Taylor, Wang, and Sung.
Someone else did leave their loved ones and country for our race.
Someone else did stand up for his faith against shining boots and bayonets.

“Why can't someone else go?” you asked.
My sons, someone else did.
Someone else did come and live and preach.
Someone else……
Except this someone else is not someone you don't know,
But someone you love and love to be with.
He is not worthy to be listed with other saints mentioned above,
But, nevertheless,
The same God who called those men also called him.

My sons, this someone else is the one to whom you so innocently address the question, “Why can't someone else go?”

Today, my sons, you may like to be fireman one day and policeman the next, but I pray that one day the “someone else” may be no one else but you.

Editor's note: This article, written by our beloved friend, the late Rev. Wally Yew, first appeared in the August 1977 issue of Challenger. It touched the hearts of many then and will certainly touch the hearts of a lot of lives today!

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20150401
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Oct-Dec 2015. CCMUSA.