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The Greatest Need

The Greatest Need by James Gutierrez

My friends and I decided we wanted to go on a hike. We picked the Cherokee Alpine Trail near Lake Martin, Alabama. It’s a lush trail with pine needles that litter every step and a lookout point where it seems that the sun is always setting on the lake below. My friends and I ran for around a mile and arrived at a small beach. We shed our shirts and jumped in the water. A football field’s length ahead of us was a tiny island in Lake Martin we just call “The Island.” In between the gasps for air, I could see ahead of us three people on the island. I kept swimming and I saw a closer view of its temporary tenants. They were three high schoolers, two guys and a girl. They were just a bunch of kids. What laid in between them, though, was a 24 pack of bud light.

I worked my way into a conversation. Speaking the complicated language of ‘high schooler’, I made out their names. We will use fake names to preserve their honor. Their names were John, Jonah, and Emily. John was the oldest, 16, and the quickest drinker. Following close behind him was Jonah who was also 16, and Emily at 14. These three wanted to tell me about their latest conquests in life. I mostly listened to them, but above all of the details that stuck out to me was John’s story. He was the school drug dealer; dealing not only in alcohol and weed, but in cocaine. He made over a thousand dollars a week from his trade; selling to other high schoolers and middle schoolers. Getting to taste his own products, he had a “line” waiting for him whenever he wanted one. From his body language, he looked like he thought that he was a model of success. Guess who introduced John to cocaine? It wasn’t a shady figure lurking in a back alleyway. At a family gathering John found his grandpa in their backyard readying his daily dose. He invited John to join him, while he was only 14.

Candidly, we believe Jesus is the only real solution to the dilemmas of our society; whether mental, physical or spiritual. So I told John, Jonah and Emily about Jesus. The message of how Jesus lived, how He died, and what He wants for them. I ask you, the reader, what would you say? Before you come up with your own answer, I challenge you to think “What do you think happens next?” What happens after you open up your life to someone like John? Do you walk away self-satisfied that you gave someone a good talking to? A single conversation won’t ‘save’ someone like John. There is so much more that someone like John needs to hear, to know, and to see. We have a saying in Chi Alpha, a spiritual maxim. Maxims are short potent phrases that encapsulate our heart and mission. We say “It Just Takes A Little Bit Of Courage”. Jesus’ command to us as followers of Him is to fill our lives with people like John. We tell them about Jesus, lead them to repentance, and welcome them into our very lives. How many Johns, Jonahs, and Emilys are in your life? Do you care about this lost world and the people who fill it? I agree with you. It can be scary to share the gospel and to share our lives with others, but Jesus had the courage to face death on a cross for a world full of Johns (Roman 5:8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.). Can you be like Jesus? I challenge you that when you see a John, Jonah or Emily, that you would stop your list of things to do, find a need and meet it. Tell them about how Jesus lived. Tell others about how Jesus died. Tell them about the greatest love they could ever know. It just takes a little bit of courage.


It Just Takes A Little Bit Of Courage


  1. Find a new friend to share the Gospel with

  2. Invite your new friend into your life

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