I’ve run into a lot of people in my life who seem to think that their relationship with God is for them to know and for others to not worry about. And while I agree with them to a certain extent, the biblical text is clear that our relationships with God are called to be anything but private. Personal, yes. Private, no.
God’s scandalous grace invaded Portage, Wisconsin, with unwelcomed splendor in April of 1994. It targeted a criminal serving multiple life-sentences in the Columbia Correctional Institution. It’s not uncommon for thieves and murderers in prison to receive God’s grace, but this day was different. The person who attracted God’s love was a man who killed 17 young men.
It’s been about eight years since I first picked up a Bible and read it out of pure desire and intrigue. I’ve had access to a Bible most of my life, but the reality is that it spent most of it’s being collecting dust on a shelf in my room. Every once in a while, it would get dusted off only to be used as an accessory while attending the yearly Christmas Eve and/or Easter morning church services.
Pain can come packaged in many different ways. While one can encounter this burden through the loss of a loved one, another could have lost a job or even found out that they’re battling a life-threatening sickness. Regardless of how; pain is very, very real. Pain is not something we can avoid in life no matter how hard we really try. It’s a vital part of our human existence, and if treated correctly, will harvest much wisdom and knowledge.