Sunday, June 20, 2010
Today in church the lesson was on Christ's atonement, so much of the lesson focused on repentance and grace. As we discussed these themes, I remembered these posters I'd seen in Harlem. Put up by a local businessman, no doubt, as a way to try and change the drug-riddled and gang-ridden poor community, yet I wonder if anyone heeds them and decides to repent, or if anyone passing by truly understands their meaning. As I see people around me going through hard times caused by sins and mistakes, some the same mistakes I made myself at one point in my life, I find myself wishing I could just lift those people up out of their problems and cause them to see once and for all the way to happiness and peace. I have all but walked around with a huge poster that says "Repent!" I've tried to be a listening ear, a good example, a giver of advice, a comfort dispenser (to quote Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale) and a sister. With all my heart I long for them to understand, and sometimes in my dark moments I fantasize about kidnapping them and forcibly shielding them from the influences of the world. But just telling them or wanting it for them is not enough, and there is only so much I can do. They have to choose and do it for themselves, just as I learned from my mistakes and chose a better way. Then, by the healing and empowering grace of Christ's atonement, their desire and efforts can be strengthened and they can change, learn, grow, improve, and be sanctified.