Wednesday, May 8, 2013

We are Amanda Berry

I've been thinking about it ever since the story broke on Monday.  The story of three kidnapped women who were found after a decade in captivity when one of their number managed to escape and get help. And this is what I have been thinking: We are Amanda Berry.  All of us.  You and me.  The story leaped off the screen at me.  In it I heard the Christian story of redemption.  The story that we get deadened to...not because we want to, but because we have heard it so many times that we forget what Christ has done for us.

We were held captive for long years in the dungeon of the devil.  His chains of lies and sin and brokenness and death held us.  Whenever we sought freedom, he told us it was not for us.  And then one day, we pierced through the screen door of evil and captivity (although in our case, we were not merely captive and therefore able to bring about our own rescue, but we were actually dead in our sins).

The Holy Spirit pulled us through that screen door.  He kicked it down and then He pulled us through.  He yanked us out into the light of day, breathing breath into us, performing Holy Spirit CPR on our cold corpses.  The warm sun fell on our back.  We gasped for air and awoke.  But we couldn't stop for a moment to relish our new freedom.  "There are more captives!" we cried out.  Now that we had been freed, we could not rest until they too were freed.  We sent help.  We sent rescuers after them.  How could we rejoice in our freedom when others remained bound?

And so they were freed just as we were.  Hallelujah!  And now, we are living a new life...a life that we dared not dream of in those long years of captivity.

But the story isn't over.  This isn't "happily ever after, roll the credits, please!"  Much like the children of Israel, we are getting used to freedom these days.  There are many days we huddle up in a fetal position, hiding, afraid, believing we are still captive.  We spend a lot of time still believing the lies that held us captive.  We forget to live into our new life, our new identity.

We are getting used to redemption, getting used to new life, getting used to being free.  There will be a lot of ups and downs in our journey of new life.  But by the grace of God, we are freed to now live it.

"For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light."
--Ephesians 5:8, NIV

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
--Colossians 1:13-14, NIV
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