I had to stop doing my chores and tasks today. I was distracted by a thought about redemption. That longing we have, deep inside, no matter how busy or successful we are, we feel there are things missing. I believe those moments are an internal cry for redemption. The desire to see things restored and made good. Good in a pure way, not in a "those Oreo cookies are good" kind of way.
We long to see bad things become good, wrong things made right. Some say this is a desire for justice, and I agree we long to see justice, but truth is, justice is only part of it. To see a bad guy get what he deserves, still leaves us longing for more. That more is redemption. We long to see all of life restored to joy, happiness and peace.
A friend of mine said one time "we all long for Eden". I think he was right, deep inside we long for the peace God once offered to the first man and woman. I guess I can't be too angry they messed it up for all of us, I would have done the same thing, probably worse. So, now, I wonder what to do with this feeling.
Today I heard the voice in my heart and head remind me there is a story, thousands of years old, that led to this moment in time, where I am doing my chores on a Friday morning. That story includes all the tragedy, drama and victory written in our history books and now lived out in real time through social media. The redemption we long for is part of that story.
Rape & theft are popular in the area of town where my church is located. Bullying, drugs, self abuse and neglect are popular in families near my home. School shootings are very popular and politics seem to just circle the issues with trillions of dollars in their wake. I'm not mad at anyone, I don't think. I'm just a father of five, a husband of twenty one years, a neighbor and friend, hoping to find a way to satisfy that longing for redemption, for all things to be set right. The context we live in is troubling, even frightening, yet I feel better, disconnected even, when I get a nice dinner at my favorite burger joint and watch some great prime time television. I mean, they are seeking redemption as well. And it seems, every week, they get one step closer to a resolution of the conflict, you know, where the main actors finally get together and share their true feelings. I mean, how long do we have to wait for Ross and Rachael to get together....my word.
Still, we feel troubled, so much for prime time tv, maybe I should get my cable back on. Anyway, the redemption is in fact part of our story and I am reminded to see it, to hear it, to look for it.
Over thousands of years now, our selfishness, hunger for power, desire for blood, war and possessions, had created conflict in our hearts, homes and nations. In the midst of it all, through the woven rope of our experiences, stretching form one generation to the next, there is a red thread woven in. It's always there, it always has been and always will be. Thousands, millions, actually, hundreds of millions have experienced the reality of finding the strength is the blood red thread of redemption that is woven into every day experiences.
The voice in my head and heart reminded me today to look for that blood red thread of redemption. To acknowledge it has always been there, agree or disagree, and acknowledge that our hope cannot be in a Utopian world where all things are made right. Rather, it should be in a loving Savior who shed his blood on the cross to provide a redemptive option for my story. Wow, I guess the days and years are not really the issue. The evil in the world, creating pain and conflict, is not the issue. The issue is, do I see the way God has cared enough to weave this redemptive thread of reality into my context? Do I see it? Do I trust it? I sure need it.
Back to chores - looking for the red.