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June 02, 2007

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Marti

A post worth waiting for. And it IS a great painting. May God continue to make his image in you, dear Lu.

Here's something it brought to mind:

"True spirituality then is not about escaping this world to some other place where we will be forever. A Christian is not someone who expects to spend forever in heaven there. A Christian is someone who anticipates spending forever here, in a new heaven that comes to earth.

"The goal isn’t escaping the world but making this world the kind of place God can come to. And God is remaking us into the kind of people who can do this kind of work.

"The remaking of this world is why Jesus’ first messages began with 'T-shuva, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'

"The Hebrew word t’shuva means 'to return.' Return to the people we were originally created to be. The people God is remaking us into.

"God makes us in his image. We reflect the beauty and creativity and wonder of the God who made us. And Jesus calls us to return to our true selves. The pure, whole people God originally intended us to be, before we veered off course.

"Somewhere in you is the you whom you were made to be.

"We need you to be you.

"We don’t need a second anybody. We need the first you.

"The problem is that the image of God is deeply scarred in each of us, and we lose trust in God’s version of our story. It seems too good to be true. And so we go searching for identity. We achieve and we push and we perform and we shop and we work out and we accomplish great things, longing to repair the image, longing to find an identity that feels right.

"Longing to be comfortable in our own skin.

"But the thing we are searching for is not somewhere else. It is right here. And we can only find it when we give up the search when we surrender, when we trust. Trust that God is already putting us back together.

"Trust that through dying to the old the new can give birth.

"Trust that Jesus can repair the scarred and broken image.

"It is trusting that I am loved. That I always have been. That I always will be. I don’t have to do anything. I don’t have to prove anything or achieve anything or accomplish one more thing. That exactly as I am, I am totally accepted, forgiven, and there is nothing I could ever to do lose this acceptance.

"God knew exactly what he was doing when he made you. There are no accidents. We need you to embrace your true identity, who you are in Christ, letting this new awareness transform your life.

"That is what Jesus had in mind.

"That is what brings heaven to earth."

(Rob Bell, from Velvet Elvis, pp. 150-151)

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