Only the man who has had to face despair is really convinced that he needs mercy. Those who do not want mercy never seek it. It is better to find God on the threshold of despair than to risk our lives in a complacency that has never felt the need of forgiveness. A life that is without problems may literally be more hopeless than one that always verges on despair. ―Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
One of the most powerful and wonderful gifts God has given humanity is free will. When He created us, it was for love. C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the divine love may rest ‘well pleased. ’”
Love is not love if it is forced; therefore God gave us the ability to choose Him, to accept Him or reject Him.
When we turn on the news, or read a book such as this one, we may find ourselves asking, “How can a loving God let these things happen?” The truth is that our sinful human choices are a consequence of rejecting the One who made us. What is more profound than the fact that He gave us the choice to reject Him is the fact that He loves us and never leaves us even in our darkest moments, and even when we don’t yet know Him.
As you read this story of human darkness, be reminded that God so filled me with His love and gave me beauty for ashes by giving me the courage to share my story and not give up on love. My love of Christ, my love for the broken, and even my love for the ignorant who still want to label me are powerful testimony of just how far–reaching God’s healing love can be when we choose to accept Him.
Let this story also serve as a reminder to us of all the wars people fight every day of their lives. We may not see these wars on the outside, but they are there. To love like Christ, unconditionally, means we love without demanding that the other person prove their worthiness of that love.
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.”
Our very ability to love exists because it was initiated by love Himself. Who are we to ever deem another unlovable or undeserving?
“Love your neighbor, all of ’em.” -Christine Clarity McDonald
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