If I tell you I’m off for “R&R,” what am I talking about? Many would say “Rest & Relaxation,” or some other definition. Over the last year “R&R” will forever stand for “Redemption & Reconciliation.” Let me tell you about it.
When we moved to the country a year ago, I took an extremely long leap of faith. I left the known for the unknown. I’m better and stronger for the move, but particularly so from one particular relationship over the past year.
I don’t believe it’s possible to really know a person until you have consistent, deliberate interaction with them. I’ve been blessed for a relationship built with someone I thought I knew, but only on the surface. Problems in his life surfaced and I immediately could relate because I (like everyone else I knew) have made mistakes in my life, I (like he) have confessed, asked for forgiveness, and started over. Seeing the awakening occur in this man’s life has been a refresher course as I observe the healing work of redemption and reconciliation.
For every tear he took, I cried buckets. I felt the pain he was going through. I so wanted to be able to remove that pain, but I knew the One who could provide the healing. I walked beside him every step from the depths of the pit and back.
Over time, strength and some stability became evident. He had made peace with his Father – then began the process of rebuilding. With heartfelt sincerity, he went to each person he had wronged to somehow make amends. Most extended their forgiveness and acceptance graciously, others not. Having been through this myself, it takes time for others to forgive you – sometimes it never comes in a lifetime. What I can say is today I have a brother and I’m better for having him in my life.
The most beautiful example of Redemption & Reconciliation I’ve seen in scripture is the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). The father (God) kept constant watch for his beloved prodigal to return. When He sees him on the horizon, he runs to meet him, then clothes him and orders a great feast. No condemnation, no gossip, no mention of what had happened in the past … the Prodigal had returned and been redeemed and reconciled to his Father.
As Dr. Jim Denison has said, “Build bridges rather than moats.” Our job on this earth is to build relationships that can help others toward Redemption & Reconciliation.
Isaiah 44:22 “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”