A few years ago I spent a lot of time with Rob Bell, the pastor of Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids. He taught me that the Church of Jesus is indestructible and beautiful and worth dying for. He invited me in to his home, and poured in to me as a Rabbi would a Talmud. I would scribble notes down in a journal, and read the same books and sit in the front row as often as possible. He took me under his wing and introduced me to victorious love, and the way of the cross. He told me that I had “chutzpah“, a fire in the soul.
Since then, we’ve gone in different directions. He went global. I stayed in Roosevelt Park. I don’t have the opportunity to spend time with him, like we once did. I have become introverted, and don’t don’t return calls (sorry everyone).
This morning I got a letter from Rob. He used his words prayerfully; carefully. He reminded me that God has begun a good work in me, and He will be faithful to complete it. I read through the pages several times, and have not been this encouraged in a long time.
He closed out the letter with the following words…
“You are a gifted, passionate, smart, extraordinary man…We need your contribution, we need your energy, we need your talents! My heart breaks for you as you feel the pain of these [self-inflicted] wounds. This is the time for you to meet the resurrected Jesus in a new way! Trust Him.
As you heal, remember that this season is going to shape you into a leader who has more to say than ever because you’ve been there! You walked that road.
Forgive, (and be forgiven).
And then get back on the horse.”
Grace & Peace,