Good but Unsafe

I wrap a blanket around my cold shoulders every morning and sit to read a book that feels just as warm– Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers.

Dane Ortlund writes:

“What elicits tenderness from Jesus is not the severity of the sin but whether the sinner comes to him.”[i]

If I turn to Jesus’ open, wounded hands, my sin’s heinousness doesn’t get weighed.

But what if I don’t turn?

C.S. Lewis claims in The Great Divorce that there’s no Hell in Heaven and not the smallest souvenirs of Heaven in Hell. There’s no neutral ground between saved and unsaved.

From Gentle and Lowly:

“If we never come to him, we will experience a judgement so fierce it will be like a double edged sword coming out of his mouth at us.”[ii]

Jesus drank God’s wrath to the dregs, and if we embrace him, he takes the cup from us to instead offer sweet and flowing grace. But if we refuse Jesus’ work—if we turn to something less—he thrusts the cup into our hands to pour burning down our throat.

“If anyone worships the beast and his image… he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb” (Rev. 14:10).

The Lamb who was slain will stand like a Lion, watching as we are slain.

But—

“If we do come to him, as fierce as his lion-like judgement would have been against us, so deep will be his lamb-like tenderness for us.”[iii]

Either we’ll be in Aslan’s jaws or between his paws.

He isn’t safe. But he’s good.

“He’s the King, I tell you.” [iv]

And what does King Jesus say to foolish Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve but, “Come to me.” So we who deserve to be devoured find ourselves swept up against his mane and warmed under his breath.


Above: A painting by my friend, Ashley, that hangs above my desk and fills my heart.


[i] Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly. (2020: Crossway. Wheaton, IL), 54

[ii] Ibid, i

[iii] Ibid, i

[iv] C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. (1950: HarperCollins. New York, NY), 80

2 thoughts on “Good but Unsafe

  1. This from your last lost is so moving with such raw and real emotions that speak truth and healing! thank you!

    it was the same room

    where months ago

    our hearts were stripped

    and love laid bare.

    our wounded selves

    sought meaning through

    our swollen eyes.

    but we held fast,

    though our fingers trembled,

    and our grip felt faint,

    we held fast to a God

    who is good, and does good.

    a God who would

    never give loss

    short of purpose.

    so we questioned

    and pleaded

    between broken cries,

    but we knew the truth.

    the Lord is good,

    and does good.

    now here we are again.

    same room, same people –

    though different; changed.

    and our hearts are

    once again exposed.

    laid bare in love.

    not broken but mended.

    our love is spilt,

    it can’t be withheld,

    and through eyes

    of wonder we know;

    the Lord is good

    and does good.

    with souls sunk

    deep in gratitude,

    we look into

    the eyes of a

    prayer answered.

    maybe our hearts

    were first broken

    to let grace make

    space for love.

    we may never know

    the fullness of

    the purpose,

    but what we do know

    we holdfast to:

    the Lord is good

    and does good.

    And these words speak the Gospel message in pictures! Oh my, you are so gifted with the passion to use and point out words of Life!

    The Lamb who was slain will stand like a Lion, watching as we are slain.

    But—

    “If we do come to him, as fierce as his lion-like judgement would have been against us, so deep will be his lamb-like tenderness for us.”[iii]

    Either we’ll be in Aslan’s jaws or between his paws.

    He isn’t safe. But he’s good.

    “He’s the King, I tell you.” [iv]

    And what does King Jesus say to foolish Sons of Adam and Daughters of Eve but, “Come to me.” So we who deserve to be devoured find ourselves swept up against his mane and warmed under his breath.

    For the Glory of God and the souls of men!
    Love you! 🙂
    becky 🙂

    Like

    1. thank you, thank you becky. 🙏🏽 joel wrote that poem and it’s incredible how the things God is working in us through different situations often collide and interweave. ❤

      Like

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