Posted on Aug 20, 2019

18 August 2019

During the Nazi reign of terror there was a sector of Warsaw Poland that was cordoned off. 

It was the Jewish ghetto.

One of the men who died there wrote a short note on a piece of paper,

stuck it in a bottle and then left it as his legacy.

He said:

“God, you have done everything to make me stop believing in you.

Now, lest it seem to you that you will succeed by these tribulations in

driving me from the right path, I notify you, God,

and God of my fathers, that it will not avail you in the least.

You may insult me.   You may castigate me. 

You may take from me all that I cherish and hold dear in the world.

You may torture me to death,

but I will always love you.”

When I read that I was moved. 

And I think I was moved because I wasn’t so sure that in similar circumstances

I might have been bitter, angry,

and told God to visit the same hell he had put me through.

I’m not sure I would have said: “No matter what, I will always love you.”

From our earliest days as children we are told a lot about how faithful God is to us.

How much God loves us no matter what we do.

And I know people who test that theory.

Who in fact do every rotten thing they can think to prove that they can’t possibly be loved.

I also believe that very often it is not whether or not they can be loved that they test,

it is their own capacity for loving, “no matter what” that is in question.

I think we are afraid that when it comes right down to it, we will fail the test of love,

not God.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews wants to encourage the reader to keep on trying:

“Putting aside every encumbrance” keep on running the race,

keeping our eyes fixed on Christ who inspires and perfects our faith.

What the author is really trying to say there is that we just might be able to do better at loving than we give ourselves credit for.

It is also possible that our loving isn’t all our own doing.

That God helps us along the way to be more loving, not to fail.

No one wants us to fail the test of loving

not our spouses, not our children, not our parents, not our friends, least of all God.

So keep running the good race.

Keep on loving as best you can, do not grow despondent,