Monday, June 22, 2015

The Strongest Thing

This post is a continuation, in a way, of A Fragile Thing.

For I am convinced 
that neither death 
nor life, 
neither angels 
nor demons, 
neither the present 
nor the future, 
nor any powers, 
neither height 
nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)

Imagine this:
A young man walks into a church during bible study on a weekday morning. He sits in the church for an hour, listening. Impressed by the kindness he is shown, he almost doesn't do what he came to do. But a voice whispers to him. A voice in the recesses of his soul. A familiar voice. A voice of darkness. "Do it."

And he does. He opens fire on the very people he has been sitting with, killing eight with multiple gunshots. A ninth dies at the hospital. He tells them they have to die. That voice has taken over his life.

Days later, the survivors gather at the young man's hearing. They tell him what he has stolen from them. They show him the depth of their sorrow. And then, they forgive him. There just isn't room in a heart for hatred and love. They choose love.                                                   Find the article here.                             

This is a strong thing.

Imagine this:
An infant is adopted from abandonment. He is terrified of people. He has been diagnosed with a language disorder. He has a sensory processing disorder. He is not an easy child to enjoy. And yet, his mom takes him out, to explore places, to be with people, to interact and intermingle - always hoping beyond hope that he will connect.

And he does. To a stranger at a rodeo. He laughs and giggles, and discusses the bulls. The mother sits by in tears because a miracle has happened. Her heart is full at the kindness of that stranger, the one who chose to love a boy unconditionally.                                                     Find the article here.

This is a strong thing.

Imagine this: 
A young woman with Down syndrome is preparing to graduate high school. She is excited to do and be like the other graduates. She is excited about the robe, and the hat, the diploma, the ceremony. But she can't do it all by herself, independently. She can't quite wrap her intellect around the alphabetical order, the turn this card in at that table at this time, the lining up and the marching in, the waiting your turn. It's all confusing.

A young man, about to graduate himself, with honors and a scholarship to play football, on a day when it should be all about him, chooses to take this young woman under his wing. Into his care. He does it out of kindness. The kindness of a stranger enables the young woman to soar through the ceremony, without helicopter adults; she is doing and being like the other graduates. It is a gift.
Read about it here, here, and here.

This is a strong thing. 

Imagine this:
El, the Master of the Universe, created day and night and all that they encompass with His holy breath. He formed creatures to inhabit the air, the sea, and land. Then He made man and He made woman. These He made in His own image, companions to each other and to Him. He gave them His world, His universe. He gave them free will. He saw that all was well and good.

Free will includes temptation. It includes enticement. It includes choices. The man and the woman made a choice that separated them from the face of El. It was a disobedient choice. It was sin. And sin then became a part of who they were, separate from their Maker. Sin was separate from good. All was no longer well.

But El, still loved his creation. Unconditionally. Even when they wronged and disrespected His wishes. Even when they allowed the not good to ruin them, to ruin the earth, to ruin the creatures. And He made a plan to redeem them.

Through selfless love, He came to earth. Fully man and fully God. Through selfless love, He experienced hurt and pain, hunger and sickness, violence and greed. Blameless He allowed Himself to be sacrificed. For the sins of men. He experienced punishment and returned grace. He experienced thirst, and returned mercy. He experienced hatred, and returned forgiveness.

Through selfless love, He changed the world.

This is the strongest thing.

"If we could imagine the love of one who loves men purely for their own sake, and not because of any need or desire of his own, purely desires their good, and yet loves them wholly, not for what at this moment they are, but for what he knows he can make of them because he made them, then we should have in our minds some true image of the love of the Father and Creator of mankind."  --O.C. Quick

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for your love, your unconditional, all-powerful, inseparable love.
Help us to remember to love others as you have loved us.
It can change the world.
It is the strongest thing.


  1. What powerful stories of God's love triumphing over the evils in this world -in so many different contexts. May we all live with just a little move love toward those around us and impact this world for good.

    1. I think the only way we can battle the evils in this world is through God's love. Amen! I want to live with just a little more love toward those around me! Thank you for stopping by. Blessings!

  2. Janet, what powerful stories, helping us to see God at work, His hands and feet, the Holy Spirit with flesh on...God is love and when we demonstrate His love to others, what a powerful reflection it is of Who He is...truly, all is grace...

    1. Hi Beth - I llike it when powerful stories about God's love show up on my news feed - especially on the heels of tragedy. It helps me to remember that God has a plan and that plan is good. And love is the key. Amen. All is grace. Thanks for visiting.

  3. I have just joined this blog, and I think you so much for sharing these wonderful pieces of inspiration with us! The two posts I have read (or skimmed) have been amazing! Looking forward to the next post!

    1. Samantha - Thank you for your encouragement! We went camping over the holiday weekend. It was truly wonderful to be away from all things electronic for a few days, but I'll get to posting more soon. You are welcome to share posts if you know anyone else who might enjoy them. I took a hop over to your brand-new blog. Very nice. And your photographs are beautiful. I hope you have an equally beautiful week. Janet


I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.