Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Unlovable

Matthew West has (still relatively) new song out called Forgiveness. I don't know how many people have researched it, but the story behind it is powerful.

Matthew decided to write all of the songs for his newest album about real life stories people had sent him. In this story a mother's child was driving home. As the daughter was driving, she got hit but a drunk driver. He survived, but the daughter passed. There was of course a court hearing, and after x amount of months he was sentenced to 22 years in prison for DWI and manslaughter.

The mother started going around to various schools and organizations talking about the importance of driving safely, and the dangers of drinking and driving. She became a spokesperson for what she had experienced, and a warning beacon that has hopefully saved lives. I respect her a lot for that. After somewhere between a few months and a few years of doing this, God began to speak to her about forgiveness. She of course responded with the natural responses that all of us would give. "I have forgiven him/her. I'm not holding a grudge. I'm fine God." But after enough time and prayer, she realized she hadn't forgiven enough, and definitely hadn't forgiven this poor and lost young man who had killed her daughter.

Through radical change and a radical God, she forgave him. No, not just in her heart. She went to the prison to visit him, and told him she forgave him. The story doesn't end there though. She now considers him to be a friend, even a member of her own family. I don't know about you but I don't have a lot of confidence that I could do that. As if this wasn't enough, she also pleaded with the judge to have his sentence cut in half. That's right, 50%! If I remember correctly, he gets out this fall/winter some time.

So what's the point? Why write about this? First, it's to show the power of forgiveness. It's to remind us that forgiveness isn't just for the forgiven, but the forgiver. Second, it's to remind you that the word "impossible" is not in God's dictionary. Third, it's to demonstrate loving the unlovable.

Here's the thing. This story is a perfect allegory to the Father, Christ, and us. The Father is the mother, Christ is the daughter, and you and I? We're the drunk driver. We spat in His face. We crucified Him. We slaughtered Him. Even now we sin against Him. But His forgiveness, His love, His mercy is strong enough to go past us-for love is as strong as death. He didn't just forgive us, but He welcomed us to be with Him. He invites us to enjoy life everlasting. Truly there has been and never will be a greater love story than this. The Father, lover of the unlovable.

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