Beyond paper and ink

GO AHEAD if you want to. Go and seek the answers on your own. You are completely free to do so.

Try to understand why the world groans under its own weight. Try to figure out why we are so complex and conflicted.

Why do we do the things we do? Why don’t we just do what’s right and fair? Why don’t we at least not hurt anyone? Why don’t avoid hurting ourselves?

What drives us to the limits of sanity and beyond? How many times have I seen behavior and thought, “That’s just crazy”? How many times have I witnessed that same behavior in me?

So go then. Go to your books and scrolls and talks and video platforms. Go listen to the wise, experienced, or even the outrageous. Seek all you can, all your life if you want to.

Read what anyone has ever written, even in the old books, the ancient texts. Pour over it and consume it all. See if you find the answer.

The world gives us a never ending stream of information, explanations, and amusement. Does any of this give us what we desperately desire? Are we better off than before? 

Some retreat to the desert. They draw back from the world and exclude themselves. Why stay in this world of hurt and worry? What’s the point?

Others build their own private oasis — a protected place of rich and plenty. They construct high walls to keep out the sight and sound of those outside who hunger and thirst.

But no matter how sparkling your life might seem, if your fellow human suffers, an anguish burns inside you. The cries of the innocent victims cannot be silenced in the echochamber of your soul.

Still others embrace resentment and inject rage into their veins. They will stop at nothing to put someone, anyone in their place. Meanwhile, others lose themselves a vein of despair and try to numb it all away.  

So where does this leave us? From the original sin to the first lie to the first homicide, wound upon wound brings us to modern times. We are a wounded race. Our trail of blood and tears span back millennia.

Where does it all end? How do we find closure?

There once was something written, something that rises above all human wisdom and experience. And what was written came to life — and this gives us great hope.

Here we discover a holy message. It says we can come to know what our Creator desires for us and from us. It speaks of eternity.

God’s Word is Spirit. It is truth. It pierces. It heals. It is powerful and tender all at once.

His message is written on your heart. It speaks to your soul. And after so much conflict and pain, his message is what we all truly desire.

God’s message is his peace.  

Even though we have our Bibles and Scripture, it must go beyond the paper and ink. For salvation is a revelation.

You can read about the symphony of grace for a lifetime and maybe nothing happens. But when your soul hears the music of God’s love for the first time, everlasting joy bursts forth.

God reveals his Son to you. The risen Christ shows you his wounds. And from those wounds, his peace flows out abundantly to you, through you, and from you.

Then even the most wicked can come to believe that they can be good. Even the selfish can be generous and kind.

Even the deeply wounded can know they are not victims but beloved sons and daughters of God.

Even those lost in their internal chaos can come home to the Kingdom of Heaven.

The anguish is silenced. The song of grace rings out triumphantly. Every sinner can know they are forgiven and free.

And their peace with God becomes well known. 

. . . . . . .

And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace!”

Lucas 19:41-42

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