8 March 2013

#lentphotos - 21 - help

This great book was first published in 1997 and I hope the photo here reflects that it is a well worn text.  There have been times when the book has literally been a lifesaver, more than help really.  My favourite two chapters are: 6) I was meant to party with my enemies and 7) The kiss of God.  They are places where many tears have been shed and God has whispered time and again 'I love You.'

The two chapters are on forgiveness.  I recently tried to write a post for the #God52 challenge of Peacemakers (go out of your way to bring peace to a situation) but in the end felt I could not publish it publicly for a number of reasons, although it certainly helped to write it.  The two chapters focus on how we as human beings hurt each other, with or without intention and describes the effects of what happens when hurt is nursed and not forgiven, particularly in church situations.  An ugly picture.

The Scotsman was in church ministry for over 20 years until recently and although our experiences were by no means unique, there have been difficult times, most especially the instances where people refused to forgive each other and the accompanying fallback that inevitably landed on the minister's list of things to resolve. 

There were times that I read this book more than the bible and talking to God because pain was so deep I couldn't do anything else. Chapter 7 quotes twice from the all too short hymn 'Here is love' :

On the mount of crucifixion
Fountains opened deep and wide
Through the floodgates of God's mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide
Grace and love like mighty rivers
Flowed incessant from above
And heaven's peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love

This is the essence of Jesus' words and help to the thief in Luke 23 who was crucified with him. Too good not to take.

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