My heart is breaking. I have nightmares that wake me up with a memory of the terror I felt when I fell. The thoughtless words of fellow Christians were being used by the shrieking demonic attackers who don’t seem to need rest. People spouting off condemning scriptures with the hope of the Gospel buried in the mud. The very mud that Blood made.
I had a horrible dream that left me wide awake and in tears. The terror has stayed with me all day. I just got an email. It was from someone in a very real hell because of their own sin. I believe God gave me the dream to remind me of what His grace has taken away. The night tremors. This person doesn’t need to be told that they were wrong. They know they were wrong and it’s tearing them apart. Stealing their sleep and their health. They’re emotionally shredded and they need hope and someone to guide them to the feet of the forgiving Savior. Not because what they did was okay, but because what He did was big enough.
People. Stop standing between the sinner and the cross. What are you doing?
I can’t stand the hypocrisy of claiming to be saved by the very thing they’re withholding from the one they watched fall.
I’ll try to use an analogy to show you what is happening to them. It’s from my dream:
Imagine finding out that your child has died. That moment of denial and shock and then the overwhelming onslaught of fear and hopelessness. Pain is not a strong enough word. Terrifying shrieks. Scratching at the walls. No one can reach you. No one can make it okay. No one can turn back the clock and make it go away. Your screams can’t go deep enough. Crawling on your hands and knees because you cannot stand. Screaming for help knowing that no one can help you. There is no one to blame because blame won’t take it back. The sky, once blue, has gone black. Life is a mockery to the death. You can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you can’t crawl out of your skin to find solace. You vomit. You lie lifeless. You curl up inside yourself and shut down.
No one should have to go through that. The unrelenting cruelty of simply being alive.
I am not writing about the death of a child. Please don’t let my analogy get you off track. I’m writing about a feeling that maybe you could let yourself imagine. I’m in tears allowing myself to go there, but I have to try to get you to understand. In order to make this analogy work, imagine that it was your fault. You could have done something different, but you were being selfish and careless and you didn’t.
Now, the others come in. They’re blaming you, and rightfully so. They’re telling you all the things you did wrong and asking you why you didn’t do what you should have done. They’re talking about the empty bedroom in your house. They’re shunning you at the funeral. They’re not comforting you because it was your fault. When you cry, they tell you that you’re just feeling sorry for yourself. They’re reminding you that you can’t undo what you did and your pain is your own fault.
The worst part: The one thing that can save you from yourself, that can carry you through your hell, is the one thing, Person, they tell you that you can no longer reach.
Jesus is real. God is real. And satan is real. It’s all real and if you don’t get that, if you don’t get that satan is doing absolutely everything he can do to destroy them and their faith, then you will be used by him to do his work.
The damage of sin is something that no human can fix. But God can and has. Jesus and His overwhelming grace, love, and mercy are not exclusive rights to people who avoid pitfalls. Jesus’ work on the cross is for the pitfalls. The unrelenting cruelty of simply being alive. Sin is inevitable, even sin hidden behind the twisted mask of religion. It’s as much a part of being alive as being born.
Reminding the person of their sin won’t take it back. The focus is: ‘what now?’ What in the heck are they supposed to do now? If they can’t go to the Savior, then where are you sending them?
We all sin and that’s why Jesus came. Grace is for sinners.
Jesus says: “Come to me.” (mat 11:28)
You want to be like Jesus?
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. – Jesus, Matthew 11:29