S109P8 – Voices of the martyrs: Andrew

John 1:35-42a

Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?” They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. 

My niece was not yet two years old at the time, and I never really had spent time alone with her.  One evening, my mother had been watching her and asked me to stop in and relieve her for a short time.  It was approaching the little one’s bedtime, so I figured I would read her a story then put her to bed.  As I read that book, she sat on my lap and would not take her eyes off me.  I kept trying to direct her to the story on the pages, but I was unsuccessful.  She was listening to me, but she had no interest in the book.  Her interest was in me.  While I was treasuring the experience of reading to her before bed, she was simply treasuring the experience of being there with me.

I read this passage, and it strikes me that Andrew seems like a groupie of sorts.  He follows Jesus but stays back, almost as if he does not want to be noticed.  He is looking from afar, but he also is making sure that Christ does not leave his sight.  When Jesus asks him what he wants, the response is another question.  He wants to know where Jesus is staying, and that speaks volumes. He did not respond by saying that he sought knowledge or healing or anything that Christ could offer.  He only wanted to know where Jesus would be so that he could be there as well.  This is someone who simply wants to spend time with his Lord.  What he was seeking was the presence of God, and he would go where he needed to go to have that.

In the end, we all get what we want.  Those who want nothing to do with God unfortunately will experience what it means to be without him completely.  Those who truly desire him will have him for all eternity.  The question to ask ourselves is how badly we want his presence now.  Some will look forward to eternity with God but not try so hard to spend time with him in this life.  They have other things to do now, perhaps better things in their opinion.  The heart of the martyr, however, understands that there is nothing more precious to us in the here and now.  Father, give us an unyielding desire to spend time with our Lord while the day has not yet come.