In his book 1000 Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching, G. Curtis Jones tells a story from the life of Methodist pastor Roy L. Smith. As the story goes, Smith had a deep concern for an elderly couple who lived by themselves on a tiny island in the Great Lakes area. Since the island was completely isolated, Smith genuinely feared for their well-being. His concern led him to call a family meeting wherein he asked his family if they would mind if the couple came and lived out their days with them. After the family had agreed, Smith and his wife took a boat out to the island and extended the gracious offer to the couple.
The elderly gentleman was touched by the Smiths’ kindness, but he looked at his wife and said, “Of course we cannot accept the invitation, can we dear?” At that point Smith interrupted and again laid out the reasons why making the move would be a good idea. The couple, however, weren’t going to leave their island home, and they set about to show the Smiths why. Walking arm in arm, they led them down a narrow but carefully kept path that ended at an immaculately tended plot of green grass. In the midst of that plot was a mound watched over by a white cross. Standing there at that grave site, the elderly gentleman told the Smiths, “We can’t leave our island home, for you see we have lost a son here.”
In his closing remarks for that illustration, G. Curtis Jones explains that God lost His Son on this cosmic island that we call Earth. What a powerful thought that is! It serves to remind us that God is always interested in what’s going on down here because this is the island where Jesus died. Of course, that’s where the similarities between the two stories ends because Jesus arose from the dead in a glorified body and forty days later ascended up to heaven to take His seat at the right hand of God the Father. Still, though, we should never doubt that this Earth, this island floating in space, will always hold a special, unique place in God’s eyes. And we should also never doubt that He knows all about each and every detail concerning it. That includes everything about you and what you are going through right now. I just felt like someone out there on another part of the island might need that reminder today.