the gospel looks like this

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the gospel looks like this.

it looks like all my skeletons spoken into a living room, returned with tears as we profess the “me, too”.

it looks like late nights, spent watching Fixer Upper, and being so moved by the work that can transform a house that tears fill your eyes. it looks like that because you begin to remember all those things the Lord has done and how hopeless you have seen yourself, yet how deeply He has moved in you to make you transform. how He took your rags, like that story of the Ragman, and gave you new rags, though it meant taking on all of your junk. how much He redeemed. it looks like apple pie with piled high whipped cream over kitchen counters and realizing how much joy there is, begging to be seen.

the gospel looks like windows down, hair blowing, music loud, and sweet freedom. freedom that reminds me that I am not who I once was, freedom that calls me New, freedom that screams from the mountaintops “she is redeemed!” freedom so sweet that I cannot bear to look back to the things of yesterday because, in this day, I am free and free and free.

the gospel smells like everything bagels because, surely, this is life to the full. it smells like candles of winter that burn, a mix of sleigh rides and fire. it smells like turkey in the oven because today we choose to be thankful.

the gospel looks like coffee dates where we sip on caffeine and spill the things – the things that we worry about at night, the things to come, the things that hurt us this week, the pain of “it’s all weird.” it looks like fighting for one another and rallying for one another because sometimes we need someone to go to the Father on our behalf.

the gospel looks like choosing love when we’d rather choose hate. it looks like grace, even when I can’t find it for myself. it looks like late nights and spoken words, ones that have never been so tenderly or delicately whispered, ones that heal and bring redemption.

the gospel looks like let’s do life together. it has looked like praying for a young one to mentor to, then seeing the Lord begin to make that come.

it looks like “we’re good, right?” because I see you and I know you and you’re not your usual self, so you’re okay, right?

it sounds like Deep Focus pumping into my head through my headphones, allowing me to think and to be and to type and to process and to challenge. oh, the sweet sound of the gospel.

it sounds like a kiss on the forehead, the loving kind.

it sounds like the ding of a text from someone who truly cares about you. it sounds like advice from a mentor, one that knows you but also knows the world and wants nothing but the absolute best for you.

and oh, it feels. it feels deep. it feels like kindness, poured by a measuring cup, into my soul, so much so that it overflows. it feels like grace calling me back home one more time, one more time, one more time. it feels like a tight hug from an old friend when you never ever thought that relationship would or could be redeemed.

it feels like holding a chunky little baby and it feels like the way I feel when she smiles back at me, cheeks squished and bouncing with joy. it feels shaky sometimes like she looks when she tries to take a feel steps; yet when she falls, she isn’t hurt. she simply tries again. the gospel simply tries again.

it feels like the tears that well in your eyes when you think of how much time has passed and how kind the Lord has been.

it feels like squeezing on the couch for a picture because, Jesus, let me remember. let me remember how faithful You have been. let me remember the depth of the lengths that You went to for me. let me remember how much You have poured out, just to give me life to the full. let me remember how You fought for my soul when I was, literally, hell-bent on believing that church wasn’t for me and that I did not now, nor would I ever, need You.

the gospel feels like googling jobs in Waco, Chicago, Seattle because the Lord calls and, Jesus, let me be willing to go. it looks like putting on my brave face because I am brave and I can be bold and I can do hard things.

it feels like fighting for those friendships because, though it’s hard, they mean something to you. something deep.

the gospel is all of these things and all of Christ and all of the world and all of my sin and all of the grace and all of the blood and all of the celebration. it’s all of it and I need all of it, all the little and big pieces. oh, how I need it.

let me remember the gospel. let me remember it all. let me spend these days, soaking up the goodness and the kindness and the blood and the celebration.

thank you, Jesus, for the gospel and for all my little gospels. surely, You are love.

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