Hearts Ripped Open and the Power of Hope

Death.

If I was God, I would strike it down. I would bar it’s way.

It’s not death that kills. It’s hate.

And age and accident take a toll.

I’m not God. I’ve heard people compare belief in God to a crutch, something to prop you up because you are too weak to handle life. I can’t even make sense of violence or sickness. I could never find a way to take that pain and use it for anything. Not when I sit here crying over a friend’s father on his deathbed. A relative being prepared for the grave. A woman shot. A child dead. People killed for no reason at all. Smiles dimmed.  A nation with a heart ripped open.

But I know of a man who was questioned by his family, rejected by most of his peers and doubted by his friends. Who saw the pain in others and handled their hearts tenderly. Who was a good man with no past, present or future discrepancy to his name. Who called out the ugly hidden roots of pride in those who would showcase only their own goodness. Who exchanged shame for grace. Who showed mercy, love, and acceptance to those who had been rejected and called them out of their loneliness into beauty. Who was humility and strength. Who threw the world upside down when he threw his heart wide open. He gave us a choice, a new way.

God himself stepped in the way. Death no longer has to win the day. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus Christ who suffered, bled and died–he rose up–he’s captive to no grave. He gives us a heart that is open and grieves at the pain but does not despair. He gives the power of hope, a new way. 

No magic words can change your fate. It’s your choice. Upon choice. Upon choice.

 

[e]that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes,[f]resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses,[g]resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be [h]disappointed.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13 for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-13

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