Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sola Gratia

7. Resolved, to persevere in pleading for the souls I love, in trust that Your love and plans for my friends are exceedingly greater than my ambitions for them. In Your power to work immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, and in frank recognition that You display this power in such a way that You will not share Your glory with another... Resolved, to pray for friends the miracle of conversion, especially for those who seem "impossible," as though it ever takes any less than a miracle. With You, all things are possible.

8. Resolved, when tempted to give up laboring hope for someone's salvation or to count evangelism futile, to take heart--to remember my baptism and be grateful. Remember, once you were dead. Remember, you who once hated Him are now a trophy of his mercy. Remember Saul turned Paul.  Forgetful heart, how can good news--and believing in it--be futile?

She was a missionary agnostic. Astronomically smart, disciplined, Ivy-bound. My friend, high school Latin classmate. We sparred several times, I pleaded with her and for her. Tonight! she shared her testimony with me.  Told me of the church people who hugged her and welcomed her back when she visited their place of worship intent on exposing their folly. Grace, she said, and patient love, not logic, finally won her. Amen.

And her, two years ago. And him, four months ago. And each one through all the ages. And "If He can... me, He can... anyone" (Assisi). Miracles, all of us. That the least likely of us to know Him, love Him, choose Him... nevertheless become in Him, who loved and bought us while we were His enemies.

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