I know I am writing this for someone right now ... someone in the newspaper audience who needs to hear this message. So this little prayer is for you. I pray this day that you will know that you are beloved of God Almighty and will be with him and his friends forever. Share that news with those you know who are suffering.
There is nothing you can do to cut yourself off from God. Nothing! You are wanted by the Lord of Love to serve in his holy place.
God’s love is like the sun’s light which shines even behind the clouds of earth. Our sins cloud our own eyes, not God’s.
I found out recently than a friend of mine had tried to kill himself twice, found hanging by his own son — but has now stumbled back from that precipice and is finding his way back to knowing that he is loved. He has ultimate worth. I am keeping him close to me. A long lasting illness had drained his hope. Christ has grasped on to him now, thankfully while he is still among us. He finds that Christ’s strength is now his. His illness has allowed him to receive the strength of the Lord.
He is a solid Christian, yet he came to a place where he thought he had no value to anyone, even the Lord. He has re-found his foothold thank God. He has ultimate value with God. He belongs to the Father! So do you!
Several years before these painful events, a boy from my former church, grown up, had broken the lock on his grandfather’s gun case, taken out a shotgun and blown his brains out. I went to his house, to his despairing grandparents, and visited the boy’s bedroom and saw the red stain on the carpet. My last memory of this young man was as a bright 10-year-old full of smiles and joy. Abandoned by parents who had been entrapped by drugs, the boy had been sidelined by authorities as having a learning disability, and had been located in a place inhabited by few people of his own age.
At this time I was not yet an ordained pastor, and Pastor C from the pulpit preached emotionally of this young man for whom we had all hoped for the best. Pastor C wanted us to know that God was LOVE and our lost child would not disappear, punished for having taken his own life by a God who exacted a punishment on those he loved most. Such an idea was absurd. Emphatically he said, our boy had gone to be with the Father and he is loved and not lost!
God rescues us; he sent his son to head us off at the pass, and he rescues us and holds us close. How could it be otherwise? How could the heart of Love behave any other way and send away a child in loneliness and pain?
I too believe this and I believe that somehow God rescues us all. Even beyond the gates of death. Even beyond the gates of death.
As Christians you are made to be vessels of this divine love, and to spill out the water of compassion and love to all you meet, especially those you feel a gulf with, a disconnect with, for this is a sign that the enemy of man is trying to separate these from their flock. Turn on the torrent of love for these little ones. Say little prayers of love for those you know hardly at all. Be blessings to the least and help build your neighbor’s cottage in the kingdom of heaven.
Your church’s mission, should it be ready to accept this “Mission Impossible,” is to glow like a lighthouse in your area, to love anyone of a different religion or none, they are all sons and daughters of a God who is Love, all Love! Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans, Seventh-day Adventists. They are all children of the One God. Call them all to your doorstep!
Colin Brown is the former pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Boardman.