I’ve been thinking a lot about what the gospel makes possible that wouldn’t be possible otherwise. Like when you look around at your life, what are the small miracles that just wouldn’t be there unless the power of the risen Christ was a real thing?
The first snapshot that comes to my mind is symbolized in the picture on top of this blog. Relationships that weather the course of my flawed humanity—which is to say, lasting relationships. In this case, a 47 year old friendship with a woman who knew me since the summer I met my husband. Who was present when all my idealism was safely in place. Who let me drink endless glasses of sweet tea at her kitchen table when dreams got broken. Who dares to ride e-bikes through Colorado mountains as two women whose bones now creak.
If I tell the truth about myself, I know I’m not a good enough forgiver to weather the turbulence that comes with really hanging out and hanging in with people. I think that, without the power of the gospel let-loose in me, I’d look around at my life now and see a bunch of relationships that got blown up. Talk about hard things? Apologize and admit I’m wrong? Bear the shame of knowing some other person is close enough to see my weaknesses?
Nope. That’s not me. My basic reflex would be to cut bait and move on.
I’ve seen over the years, though, there’s more to the gospel than I ever imagined. This Great Story of creation…and the fall…and redemption…and restoration—why there are endless possibilities here. Truly, it’s like you walk through the back of a wardrobe into a world where doors open that shouldn’t have. You turn out to be friends with people you wouldn’t have even liked. You can be known in your mess and (lots of the time) still loved. And death itself gets turned inside out.
That’s the theme that my friend, Connally Gilliam, and I have explored in our soon-to-be-released book, And Yet Undaunted. We think that life on this planet is hard—sometimes, really hard. And we’re convinced that only the depth of the gospel is strong enough to hold you through it all. What you and I are counting on is the only thing you can actually count on—the mercy and faithfulness of God will appear, sometimes later than you hoped, and often in places you least expect. But appear He does.
At this point in my life, it’s in the faces of old friends where I am most grateful for a grace that has made possible relationships I might well have found a way to ruin.