Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: Maybe Some Day
By Kenny Blade
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Beth managed the faintest of smiles as she sang along with the congregation. The choir was in especially good form. Maybe it was the return of Spring warmth after a bitter winter. Maybe it was the excitement that always seemed to surround Easter services. The reason wasn’t important, Beth surmised. The important thing was that she could feel God’s presence all around her. Melting into tears, she looked heavenward and sang all the more loudly.
Trying hard to focus on the moment and the peace it brought, Beth wrestled with thoughts of the journey that led her to this Easter service. She reflected on the times as a little girl that she and her older brother Tom tried unsuccessfully to sit still in church. She closed her eyes and imagined the warm hugs her mother would give her each morning as she left to catch the bus for school. She remembered running down the drive to the mailbox to wait for her father to arrive from work each afternoon. She missed her family. She wanted to see them again. She decided to call them after the service had ended. She knew in her heart she wouldn’t.
The pastor was certainly energized this morning. You could hear the enthusiasm in his voice.
“God, in his infinite wisdom, knew our need for a Savior… A perfect offering for our sinful state… A sacrifice that once and for all would build a bridge that delivered us from a life of hopelessness and despair…”
Beth missed her children. An overwhelming emptiness filled her as she wondered if she might ever hold them in her arms again. How could her life have gotten so out of control that she’d lost the two people she had loved the most. She was glad that her husband was out of her life. She still loved him, but the drinking and the beatings had become too much for her to bear. She thanked God for the church and the preacher’s words. It was the only shelter she had found in the storms she weathered.
“Christ died, brothers and sisters, so that the hope that was lost to mankind might be found once again. He died so that the things of the past would no longer haunt the paths of your future. He died so that you might know forgiveness…”
Forgiveness. Forgiveness was for other people, Beth concluded. A Holy God would never take her back after the life she had lived. The life she had destroyed. The people she had hurt so badly. Still, she wanted with all her heart to believe that the preacher was right. She wanted to believe that Christ meant salvation and a new life – even for her. She wiped the tears from her eyes.
“His death was not the end of his journey, my friends. It was actually the beginning of ours. His death was a marker, a moment in time when the penalty of our sins was paid.
Three days after that cruel cross, Our Savior, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He walked from that black tomb into the warm sunshine of new life. The message of that empty tomb was that we do not have to remain enslaved by our past! We can begin life anew!”
As the preacher closed in prayer, the choir and congregation began to sing once again.
“How great is our God… Sing with me, How great is our God…”
She didn’t know why, but the words of that song really spoke to Beth’s heart. As she rose to her feet, she wondered again if what the preacher had said was really true. She wondered if Christ could truly forgive her. She prayed that some day He would. She loved this church. It was the only light in her darkened world. She picked up her pace as she approached the sidewalk. She looked over her shoulder at the congregation as they filed from the building. Maybe someday she would be good enough to join them inside that beautiful sanctuary instead of sitting on the steps outside. Maybe some day she would stand in that congregation and sing along with the choir instead of just listening through the windows. Maybe someday she would look into the preacher’s eyes as he told her about Christ’s love. Maybe some day…
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