I’ve always thought of redemption as something far, far away. Someday, somewhere – things will be made right. The broken bone of the universe will be set. Someday I will wake up and remember who I am. Maybe then, I will stop trying so hard to prove myself. Finally, free from resentment and insecurity, I’ll touch… really touch this beautiful world.
But all that is far away. Somewhere over the rainbow. Sometime after history. If someone can experience redemption now, they are the really heroic ones – someone who completes an epic task: Odysseus. Columbus. Gandhi. Oprah. But not me. Yes, redemption exists, I have believed, but it isn’t now; it is far away.
That is what I have always thought.
But I’m beginning to think that I’ve been wrong. Maybe my problem isn’t that redemption is too far away; maybe my problem is that it’s too close. Too close for comfort. The end of redemption might be far away perhaps, but the start is ominously close. Redemption, I’m found out, is right under my nose. In fact, it is in my mouth.
St. Paul says as much: ‘the (saving) word is near you, even in your mouth.’ God has deftly and secretly placed redemption in your mouth. You just have to acknowledge it and redemption begins to work.
Your very next word can be redemptive. Your next sentence could confess that life is a gift and that you exist by His pleasure. Your very next sentence could welcome a gratitude that will begin to heal you. Your very next sentence could let forgiveness in or let it out, releasing you. Nothing prevents these graces from flowing through you – or into the person beside you or the task before you. Nothing prevents the flow of redemption through you – except you.
Redemption is near. As near as the next word
About the Author
Roger Edwards joined The Barnabas Center in 1991. In addition to counseling individuals and couples, Roger teaches and leads discussion groups about applying the Bible to everyday life. He divides time between our Central Office in Charlotte and our satellite office in Davidson. You can find more blog post written by Roger at http://actuallyalive.wordpress.com/.
Rog, I love your focus on the word “now”…and the fact that in any moment I can choose to turn my attention away from the condemnation that would surely be mine if it were not for the fact that I have a Friend that sticks closer than a brother…a Brother who has “got my back” and who “stands up for me”…and “stands in for me” when I should rightfully get what is clearly my just judgement. “Now”…is the moment I can turn my attention away from my enemies condeming words-even if they are my own…and remember again my redemption is “now.”
An interesting thought I have encountered lately is that that language…the words I speak and repeat and reflect upon in any given moment…have the power to free me from shame or entrench me in it deeper still.
Thanks to our Editor and Chief…”Roger the Dodger Edwards”…for this simple and living truth. JDP
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