Before & After

Consider the following portrait of a man …

Before: Commissioned by the highest religious authorities of his faith to kill, both literally and figuratively, the infant Christian Church. With power both religious and political, being both a religious force to contend with and a citizen of the most powerful empire on earth, he breathed out threats against the Christians that were fearful in both the wording and in his ability to carry them out. Filled with a false zeal reminiscent of all fanatics he was filled too with a hatred towards Christ and those who espoused His cause.

After: He considered it an honor and a privilege to suffer for Jesus, called those of the lowest state his brothers and sister in Christ, was willing to die for the faith, and having been so hate-filled before was now the author of the statement, “Faith, hope, and love. These three stand always. But the greatest of these is love.” (My paraphrase.)

Intermission: What transpired in between? Well, he got knocked off his mule. Thrown to the ground. Struck blind in the process. Had to have someone lead him about. Was, in modern parlance, dysfunctional. And, what is I think most important here, he knew it. He saw his dysfunction, his own personal powerlessness.

Just a thought: How many times does a person, after suffering a fall, after being brought face to face with their own powerlessness, their own blindness, finally see the light, turn from their hateful ways, and discover the Love that is God?

Addendum: Often as not what seems at first to be a great calamity is rather a most wonderful blessing. And … We ain’t got enough mules to go around. 😉

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Published in: on June 11, 2011 at 8:20 am  Comments Off on Before & After