A few years ago, I received an email from a friend that was one of those messages that I just won’t ever forget. Her words that day had been pretty unexpected. It was a day that marked me. I opened up my mail to find the answer to a season of prayers. And I instantly began to weep.
Several months before receiving my friend’s message, I remember sitting with her over coffee one afternoon, just talking about life’s surface—our jobs, our interests and so on. It was in that conversation when my friend asked me if religion was just kind of “my thing.” Like a hobby or something. Some people like sports or cooking or crafts, and I think she understood “my religion” (though I don’t ever actually refer to it as that) as my chosen extra-curricular activity.
Oh, but I hope you know. It was, and is, far more than that. And I longed for her to see and know and understand. I prayed fervently for her.
She knew the story. The story most Americans would say they know: “Jesus died on a cross.”
We’ve all heard it.And most Americans would say they are Christians, right?
Because we’ve heard it. Right?
But do we really know Jesus?
Or is He a familiar name, a familiar story with familiar buildings that people gather in on Sundays to sing familiar songs and to hear familiar messages.
We may know the story, but we’ve got to ask—has the story known us?
It has reached our ears, but has it reached down into our deep, and ruined us with awe? Has it ever—and can it still—make us tremble?
It’s an old, old story, but it will never get old.
And it should never, and can never, get old to us.
This isn’t a religious framework or how-to guidelines for living.
This isn’t a fallback plan for comfort when life gets hard.
This is the story of a real, living Person, whose real, living sacrifice was meant to bring us really, really close to Him. Close enough to feel His breath blow through our souls, close enough to bring our heartbeats into sync with His, close enough to feel the shower of His presence roll through and over our frames when we lift the eyes of our hearts to Him.
He’s made Himself knowable, reachable and approachable.
And He’s near to the ones who’ve let their hearts sink into the deep and flowing red of His sacred story.
That day when I opened my email, my friend had written to tell me that Jesus, at last, had her heart. She’d let her heart sink into the story. And His story became hers.
We’ve heard the old, old story. But have you stared into Love’s most terrifyingly beautiful display and known, and been pierced through in your knowing, that it was for you?
Have we looked into Jesus’ pained, passionate eyes, zealous for our hearts, and have we responded, really?