I saw a post on Facebook this last week where friends were asked to post one word about how they felt right at that moment. Many of the words spoke to heartache.
Not my favorite list of words. It got me thinking. I wondered if this list fit most of the people I know. So I figured I should ask. Do you feel dead?
Then yesterday I went to a fundraiser for Open House Ministries; a local homeless ministry. (Check them out at www.sheltered.org). I love this organization. I love their big hearts, huge hope and incredible grace to broken and healing people. One of my favorite moments at the fundraiser was when the chaplain prayed. I may be biased because we're related - but his words hit deep.
“Thank you Jesus!
You do not take bad people and make them good.
You take dead people and make them alive.”
I wanted to Hallelujah right in the middle of the fundraiser. I didn't. But I haven't quit thinking about it.
I thought about that list of dead words. And about the sorts of words we sometimes throw out to hurting people. Perhaps we get stuck in fights online and in nasty narratives because talking about bad and good is subjective and judgmental. Too much nebulous area and room for disagreement. Too easy to point fingers and avoid our own culpability.
I thought about the people I know who put on brave faces but inside feel dead. And I wondered if maybe those words of despair are so prevalent because no one knows how to get life.
I bet most people want more life. How about you?
You know the fun thing about the gospel? Its all about trading. Death for Life. Loneliness for Family. Sadness for Joy. Discouragement for Hope. Defeat for Victory. Anxiety for Peace.
It's not magic. It's not a solution to all your problems. It doesn't make those hard spots disappear. But the promise and the gift changes you so that there is something (someone!) alive right inside that helps you grow and get help and heal. Until the first word that comes to mind might be this one:
Do you feel dead? I know the author of new life. Shoot me an email if you have questions. I'd love to take you to coffee, send you a book, or say a prayer for you. Jesus makes dead people alive. Hallelujah.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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