Tag Archives: goodness

The Fearless Power Of For

“Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart, but make it whole, with light in every part.” ~George MacDonald

Mel black and redjpg

True power belongs to those who are for.

For love, for light, for life.

Beauty from ashes, the triumph of truth, goodness turning the tide–this is the plan set in motion from the dawn of human history. The Creator is for his creation.

Are you?

Don’t listen to the lie–that all is lost, that child-like trust in God is for cowards, that brute and crude power will prevail. Boastful hubris is as old as the Fall, the discordant rant of small-hearted fear. Those who choose to be against, choose blindness, choose to create hell right where they are.

Some of us have lingered in the dark doorway for too long, lulled by the bitter, beguiling wailing within. The drumbeat beckons, the dissonance croons, “be against, be angry, trust no one but your own kind. Blame them, hate them, bomb them, fear them, send them all away.”

Repent! The only voice worth heeding has already spoken. “Forgive, forget offenses, forbear the failure and limitations of others, and of yourselves. Forgo self-interest, embrace the forlorn. For I will never forsake you, I am with you.” *

The momentum of history is always forward. God brings us through the frightening present, and never circles back to placate our dim-eyed nostalgia. “Behold I am making all things new” (Revelation 21:5) is not wishful thinking, but daily signposts to the future even now unfolding.

The Power of For or the Power of Fear?

The news is forbidding, the odds seem impossible. You are sickened and dismayed by the poison you’ve inhaled. Throw open the windows! Breath in the fresh air of the Real!  Be for what God is for.

Reject

  • rigid ideology
  • political polarity
  • religious pretension
  • and cynical despair,

before you lose the only thing that, in the end, will matter.

“Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell, ” Jesus warns us in Matthew 10:28.

Do you understand what he is saying? The only One with ultimate and complete power over you is the God who sent his Son to die for you.  The cross demonstrates God’s unfathomable, unfailing determination to rescue us from the only thing he has set himself against–the already-defeated, hell-bound usurper we mimic when we refuse God’s “compassion on all he has made” (Psalm 145:9).

The redemptive power of Jesus or that ancient anti-everything deceiver–in this fear-mongered, formidable hour, which will you choose to resemble?

Embrace the fearless power of for, before it is too late.

 

*See, for instance, Matthew 6:14, 16:24-25, 28:20; 1 Corinthians 13, Romans 12, Galatians 5: 19-26

Photograph by Melanie Hunt
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Goodness Happens

I believed that here in Le Chambon goodness had happened, and I had come to this village on a high plateau in southern France in order to understand that goodness face-to-face. ~Philip Hallie

goodness happens when we answer the knock

How does goodness happen?

The villagers of Le Chambon, whom I introduced in my last post, didn’t set out to save 3,500 Jews from certain death.

They just answered a knock at the door.

And in the split second of decision, when certainty and safety were too slippery to grasp, something deeper than common sense made up their minds. Something that made it easy to open the door wider, to offer a weary refugee a warm, homely welcome.

Le Chambon kindness was shaped by experiences not easily forgotten. Centuries of persecution still haunted their collective memory, ancestors who faced torture and death because of  their Protestant faith. The villagers knew with biblical certainty, that to live with and love the enemy one must not copy the enemy’s ways.

Well acquainted as Pastor Trocmé and his church were with the cold winds of cruelty, compassion for those shivering before them was easily found.

The pattern is repeated in each human heart–we have a choice. The way of the enemy, or the strange way of Jesus. Yielded to him, we will notice the upside-down law: Not from outward success–any position of strength, but from our brokenness, goodness is born.

Goodness Happens. You’ve seen it:

  • Comforting words from the one well-versed in grief.
  • A wide-armed embrace from the one often left out.
  • An understanding nod from the one who’s ignored.
  • A generous gift from the one who has little.
  • A hospitable welcome from the newly displaced.
  • Deep wisdom flows from the one who’s been silenced.

Goodness happens where we’ve lamented our sin, where we’ve travelled the margins, or been pushed off the grid.

Goodness happens where, flawed and deficient, we have turned to a God of unlimited grace. In the place of our weakness, God’s strength gains a footing–when we’ve run out of ourselves, what’s left is all him.

And you?

Someone is knocking at a door only you can open, because you are the one who has stood where they are.

(Deuteronomy 10:19,  2 Corinthians 1:3,  2 Corinthians 12:10)

How is God using your past failures and sorrow to open a door for others?

 

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