Friday, June 29, 2012


i've been there.

growing up in the bible belt 
a person hears a lot 
about hell.

(like i've said in the past...
i grew up on the back side of the 
bible belt near the crack 
of the back pocket!)

we were told was that place 
represented by cheesy paintings 
of smarmy looking folks 
wailing and gnashing their teeth
in scenes of fire and more fire.

a place of eternal punishment
the land of no second chances
because it's too late...
too late to love
too late to be loved. 

separation from GOD
no more, no way
dead end

i don't believe in the hell 
concocted by those whose
egos and bank accounts benefit 
when people live into their fears 
rather than their faith.  

i do not accept that hell is an eternal reality 
where GOD's grace cannot break through...
for the scriptures clearly state 
"nothing can separate us from GOD"
that includes hell in my believing heart. 

it does exist
but it exists within the confines and power 
of GOD'S reality....
of GOD'S unending and eternal grace...
of GOD'S sovereign power to redeem. 

the occasion when you come to terms with brokenness
in every molecule of your being
and finally let go of all notions of control
and see and hear  and sense
without any pretense
without any denial.

that moment when you feel utterly alone,
empty, and have lost everything.

i've been there.
the bottom of the pit for me 
was that moment in the hallway 
on the floor 
in the little 
house where i used to live
rolled up in the fetal position 
dry heave crying
as if it were my end.

but it was not.

for the gospel...
the good news i've read and heard all my life
is that hell 
does not have the last word.

has the last word
and all the stories of the good news 
point to grace. 

grace was all around me 
in that moment of 
and i would lift my head to a new day...
and breathe in new life...

because i learned 
that hell is 
not the first word nor
will it be the last. 

and that is a story 
for another day.

No comments: