A Precious Gift

Dear Saints and Sinners,

Reynolds Price told the story of a man, a distinguished psychiatrist, who had suffered through a terrible automobile accident. It had left him a complete quadriplegic, utterly helpless and dependent on his family, depressed and suicidal. He could find no reason to go on living. In great depression one day, he wheeled himself into a bedroom and locked the door. He held a revolver in his hand ready to take his life. For the first time in many years, he fervently prayed, ”God , I can’t go on like this. God, I will make a deal with you. I am willing to go on living for the sake of my family if you will do only two things for me. Give me some relief from my pain and help me to better control my bladder.” The psychiatrist said that in a few moments after praying that prayer it was as if he heard a thunderous reply. “NO DEAL! You either take life as it is or die.”   “It scared me half to death. It wasn’t what I expected to hear from God at all.  I put the revolver away and never considered suicide again.”  He went on and lived life as it was given to him, living to tell of his encounter with a demanding, living God whose ways are not always our ways and whose thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

“ Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way that they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? NO I tell you ; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.  Or those eighteen who died when the tower of Siloam fell on them---do you think they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? NO, I tell you but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.” Luke 13:2-5.

Each of us is an offender before God. We have all sinned and fallen short.  Everyone of us is going to die.  The journey of the cross referred to as Lent reminds us that all sinners stand in the loving presence of Jesus who grabs us and turns us toward him each day to hug us, hold us and offer us a path to trek with him today and for eternity. We call the "about face" Jesus offers us repentance, and it is a precious gift.

Still in One Peace,

David J. Jensen

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