Last year on this date of march 31 I understood and began to believe and personally experience what it meant to walk a life of redemption. Fitting that it was Easter and that I attended a church service that was outdoors in the pouring rain, I guess you can say I had literally been made clean. Well for the juice of the story this Easter had pretty much nothing to do with it, but I had just returned from a trip to the middle east with a group of friends for a short trip over there. Yes the trip was great but it pushed me to my ends and when I hit my end I had nowhere to go except to a place of redemption.
I have gone through some pretty difficult, intense, dark, testing circumstances in my life. I don’t want to compare or rank those times because that would be a joy killer, but what I want to display is a tough scenario that has become tough because I have been through all the previous trials. I may have not known it at the time but the dark, testing, difficult messy trials had instilled hope in me. When I was going through each situation I did not know or realize what I was putting my hope in.
Later as my perseverance was turning into character I realized that my hope was found in a sort of redemption. All the things that had tested me before had a purpose. They had a rhyme and reason like to show me that you never have to be at the end of your rope because there is always hope. Since there is always hope and you can rejoice in your suffering.
You are probably asking what is this tough thing that the title refers too
Well, turn to the present, it is giving up on a process of redemption. You see redemption is a process. It is a grueling, painfully slow process, but it so joyful and refreshing. It is that way because when things are redeemed then they are transformed they turn an old thing new, they make something bad into good, it brings hope out of despair. For me these things are all things I find true and have experienced on a personal level, but I had yet to enter into a process of redemption, at least a significant one, and give up on it. to quit, to back out, to recognize that this is not redemption anymore was the biggest feat. It was Something that all the hope in the world could not fix. There is a point when redemption does not become redemption anymore, there is a point when perseverance is not perseverance anymore and when it becomes a fight against a wall. Fighting does not build character it just builds pain and resentment, and calluses.
So why did I quit and why has this been so difficult?
Redemption is purely relational and there is a point when redemption digresses away from being redemptive. That is when the relationship is unhealthy and yes it can be redeemed again, but hurt and pain will have to be dealt with in the most sympathetic time sensitive manner possible. Redemption takes full cooperation and desire from both parties and for this to happen there needs to be honesty and truth. The humbling and difficult part about this is that I did not come baring full truth and honesty and because I did not do that I started a crack in a redemptive process between myself and this other person. I did not realize this until the problem was imbedded in our process. This crack eventually built into a split that brought us to a place where we could not trust each other and growth had become absent. Redemption is a growing process and when it does not progress then it becomes unhealthy. This hurt so much because it was something I had responsibility of and I took the easy way out by not fully disclosing myself which is dishonesty. Not only did I hurt somebody I deeply cared about ; I had to give up on a process of redemption because it was no longer healthy. I broke trust, made somebody feel personally emotionally and spiritually rejected and disrespected which is the opposite of the basis of love and redemption. A restorative relationship can not happen if you keep on crashing. as one of the drivers of this redemptive car I needed to exit because I was causing some painful crashes and exiting a moving car hurts. ( this is a metaphor)