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“For Annie”

No one ever noticed Annie weeping 
People all around, but she was all alone 
Mama’s got her meetings, Daddy’s got his job 
and no one’s got the time so Annie’s on her own 

No one ever knew her desperation 
People couldn’t hear her cry out silently 
Locked inside the bathroom she grabs a jar of pills 
The medicine that cures becomes the poison that kills 

[Chorus]
And it’s too late for Annie, she’s gone away for good 
There’s so much we could tell her and now we wish we could 
But it’s too late, it’s too late for Annie 

Sadness fills the hearts of Annie’s family 
Daddy tries to comfort Mama uselessly 
They hoped she knew they loved her, but they really didn’t know 
They just want to know why did their baby go 

[2nd Chorus]
And it’s too late for Annie, she’s gone away for good 
There’s so much we could tell her and now we wish we could 
We would tell her Jesus loves her, tell her Jesus cares 
Tell her He can free her and her burdens bear 
But it’s too late, it’s too late for Annie 

If only we had known her situation, 
We’d have tried to stop this useless tragedy 
Annie’s lost forever, never to be found 
But there are lots of others like her all around 

[3rd Chorus]
And it’s not too late for Annie, she could be next to you 
Don’t miss the chance to tell her before her life is through 
We gotta tell her Jesus loves her, tell her Jesus cares 
Tell her He can free her and her burdens bear 
Tell her Jesus loves her, tell her Jesus cares 
Tell her He can free her and her burdens bear 
You’ve got to tell her Jesus loves her, tell her Jesus cares 
Tell her He can free her and her burdens bear 
It’s not too late

These are lyrics to a song that Petra released in 1981. It’s a tremendously sad story of a girl who tragically takes her life because no one seems to have time to even notice her.

“Does Anybody Hear Her”

She is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction
She is trying
But the canyon’s ever widening
In the depths of her cold heart
So she sets out on another misadventure just to find
She’s another two years older
And she’s three more steps behind

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even knows she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

If judgement looms under every steeple
If lofty glances from lofty people
Can’t see past her scarlet letter
And we never even met her

He is running
A hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction

These are the lyrics to a song released by Casting Crowns 24 years later. It tells a similar story except that in this case, the girl who did not find love and acceptance from those close to her, finds it in the arms of a man and she gives herself away.

So why am I sharing the lyrics of these sad songs from different generations? In truth it’s because both are very convicting to me. I find myself asking the simple question: Have we, the body of Christ in America, lost the plot altogether?

Some of you may feel that I am asking a hard or even harsh question in an attempt to cast judgment. Please understand that if I am casting any judgment, it starts completely with me. How many ‘Annies’ are coming across my path every day and I am not even giving them a second glance? How many are sitting in our church pews and we aren’t even acknowledging their presence because they aren’t part of our clique?

There are so many people on the verge of completely giving up and all they want is for someone to acknowledge their existence. Something as simple as a smile, a greeting, or even a nod of the head can sometimes be all it takes to instill a new found hope in them. So why don’t we do it?

It seems to me that many of us Christians are more involved in promoting political agendas than promoting the love of Jesus. Why is this happening? Are politics more important than the lives of people? Are agendas the new mission field of the church? I sure hope not.

In closing, I challenge myself and others to take a minute and say hello to that stranger sitting beside you in church this weekend. Stop and greet someone you pass on the street. It may be the only chance that person has to see the love of Jesus in action.

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