Some years back, as a ‘baby Christian’ I was easily disappointed by the fall of religious leaders. Not any more. There is simply no reason to turn away from Jesus because man cannot be trusted or fails us in some way. Although we share in the pain and embarresment of the Reverand Ted Haggard’s family- as members of God’s church, and a vast and international community of believers – we will continue to pray: for him, for ourselves and for others.
As Christians, we are going to feel betrayed and bewildered by what has happened with reference to Rev. Ted Haggard. We did not know. We could not have known. Only God is privy to a man’s heart. Only God can hold it in His hands.
The God I have come to know through Jesus Christ is one who holds a man or woman’s heart even when it is suffering public humiliation and distress. He holds it precious and close to His own. Such a love, is speechless, prayerful and silent. As a ‘foreigner’ in America and a person still new to the Christian faith, I saw a demonstration of such love and prayer in the Amish community after the recent school shooting. I realised then that it is true, that it is possible to be that imitation of Christ that we are exhorted to be.
Here are some scriptures that will help those who are hurting:
1. Psalm 27:
V. 10. “Though mother and father forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.”
“Come now. let us reason together,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.”
3. Romans 8:35
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
We are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love God that is Christ Jesus our Lord.
The German poet Rainer Marie Rilke spoke in beautiful poetry the Jesus who comes to us on the wings of prayer:
‘Put out my eyes, and I can see you still;
slam my ears to, and I can hear you yet;
and tongueless, I can conjure you at will.
Break off my arms, I shall take hold of you
and grasp you with my heart as with a hand;
arrest my heart, my brain will beat as true;
and if you set this brain of mine afire,
upon my blood I then will carry you’.
Let us pray then, for the Rev.Ted Haggard, for ourselves and for others, to this God in whom there is passionate pure love, forgiveness and redemption.