We need more than a one-size-fits-all brand of redemption

I think deep down we all long for redemption.

And not just a general, one-size-fits-all kind of redemption.

We crave personal redemption.

We long to see our wrongs righted, our errors deleted, our crooked paths made straight.

Those of us who like to dwell in The Land of Regrets wish desperately we could start over.

We wish we could say more than ‘sorry’ to the people we’ve hurt.

person sitting beside window

We just wish we didn’t do that bloody thing in the first place.

And that critical inner voice haunts us some nights – you know, the one which reminds us of all the ways we’ve stuffed up?

All the things we’ve done wrong.

All the faithlessness, the disbelief.

All the lies, the failure to act when courage was needed, the harsh comments… the thoughtless words.

And they become like mountains – towers of faults – looming around us, taunting.

Unless we break the cycle.

And breaking this particular cycle is the hardest thing in the world.

The cycle of self-recrimination. Self-doubt. Shame. Grief. Sorrow.

person crying beside bed

Our past becomes a noose around our necks, growing tighter as we indulge our thoughts.

Until we yell ‘stop!’… and it loosens at the sound of one name.

What name?

The sound of the name Jesus – the one who is called Redemption.

The one who can throw the past away – not because it didn’t matter, but because it bloody did matter.

Jesus knows what sin did to us and still does to us.

Our crimes – and those of others – mount up and up and up until we can’t take it anymore.

And we cry ‘Jesus!’

And we remember Jesus.

And what he did to make things right.

There on the cross, carrying the weight of the world.

brown cross on altar

Carrying my broken world and yours.

Taking it on.

Bearing it all.

Then triumphing over the darkness once and forever.

Please take over, Jesus.

Please make things right.

Please wipe our slates clean.

Please take our burdens – our mountains of shame.

Please pull us into your tender embrace.

Please take us out of this cycle and into a new one.

Please give us a fresh start.

Please redeem what is lost.

Please bring us home again.

Home to where forgiveness lives and love reigns and sorrow dissipates at the sound of your voice.

Oh, we long for a new day.

Right now? Things might feel heavy.

grayscale photo of woman right hand on glass

But with Jesus?

Life starts to feel lighter once more.

Freer.

Easier.

Because Redemption is His name.

And Redemption is our friend.

And Redemption will one day make things right – once and for all.

Oh how we long for that day.

11 Comments

  1. We are lost without Jesus.

    Dwelling on our flaws makes no sense. It provides no help at all.

    Thank God for giving us His Son.

    May we continually trust in that name.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    I was blessed.

  2. Ali, here is something I was inspired to write today after reading your Blog and I hope you enjoy it as well see why I was inspired to say the things I did from reading your words and thoughts.

    A Priest told me something special one day while talking about the painful loss of my dog Angel.

    What a sweet kind little being, a Samoyed who I didn’t name but had adopted her from a family with a hardship that gave her that name, and they wanted her to just get a great home which she did, with me. When I met the family and Angel she came to me almost immediately which they said was so unusual because she had been a timid and shy dog even when relatives of close friends came by to visit. When we met it was a sudden comfort and joy to know each other and Angel knew I was special to her just like I knew she was special to me, I loved her and wanted to do all I could to be kind and helpful to her. Those qualities rub off on each other because she was my best friend in reality and I was of course hers and more; even a savior of sorts in her spirit.

    She hadn’t been spayed as the family that had owned her bought her from a breeder and they considered letting her have a liter of pups. Funny thing was I just met a couple several towns away from my home while doing my work one day who had a champion male Samoyed. Angels veterinarian said not to put her though all that, but I had a feeling it was what Angel wanted and needed. So she got be a mom and had 6 beautiful fluffy white adorable puppies and from then on Angel showed what an Angel she really was! She basked in her motherhood and was so sweet and attentive to her babies, so much so it brought me to tears. I had worked as a photojournalist for a television station some years prior so I jumped into gear and documented the whole process of her transforming from being a timid little girl to being a wonderful matriarch of her 6 pups and me her best friend being just as attached. Funny too was she had 6 which was just the number of children my mother had so that with everything else about the whole story fit to a “T”.

    Once several years later there was the time when I was checking the oil in my Jeep out in the garage while Angel was in the back with two of her daughters which I had decided to keep with her as she deserved family of her own kind that she loved so much; with her for life. They had been in the back yard a few minutes when Angel came up to my right leg and next to my boot ever so gently she was placing a new born squirrel that had fallen out of the dray up in one of the huge maple trees out there. Earlier that morning when still sleeping after it being a very hot night, so I had the AC on and that fact with the windows all shut meant any typical outdoor sounds around my home were drowned out. Angel stirred a few times and I just told her we’ll get up in a while. She obviously could hear with her ultrasonic hearing ability the faint sounds of distress by the squirrels out there which I had no clue about. Hours later when she recovered the baby it was in shock from the heat and dehydration, so all I could do was give it comfort as it passed.

    Angel was amazing all the years I had her with me, and when I told a priest how bad a time I was having with the loss and that I felt like I failed Angel and should have done more, perhaps I could have done something to keep her on earth longer, to which he said, “oh, you gave her such a bad life,” of course making me snap out of it knowing I had treated her like an Angel, then he went on and he told me that he went through a very identical trauma when his former dog died which the children of the parish had given to him as a Christmas gift and that her name was Angel also. My God, I thought; I had only just met and befriended this priest after the loss of a family member and hadn’t been to that church before. I was crying by now as I told him that a man at work who studied to be a priest but didn’t continue on to be ordained because God through an epiphany showed him a better direction his life should go to serve the Lord’s will. This man that I had known through work was very well read and highly intellectual and I thought he would give me something reassuring when I mentioned the loss of my Angel. I told him how I have to see her again someday hopefully in the next world; but to my shock he said the Bible doesn’t tell us that animals are going to heaven but, “we his children are if we are worthy.” I argued with him that for me to be happy in heaven or anywhere I have to see my Angel again and be her friend forever. This man told me I was being selfish and not letting go, but this all didn’t add up to me. When I told the priest all of this, as I wept like a child he looked straight into my eyes smiling and said, “Lawrence just remember this, with God anything is possible, so rejoice in that truth because it’s all in God’s hands and He wants you to be happy.”

    So why did this past event about Angel come to mind immediately while reading your beautifully written thoughts and words; I think what the priest told me applies here too and all of what you speak to, because it is all in God’s hands, but most important here is with “God anything is possible,” he does love us beyond comprehension and that must entail filling us with all the best imagined ideas we can ever come up with, and Angel is certainly a great idea to include, so I’m sure God works it all out perfectly and we will rejoice beyond measure when we are in paradise with Jesus Christ our Lord, Savior and Redeemer.

    Lawrence Morra

    “What no eye has seen, no ear heard, or the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”

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