This morning, before I dressed to go to church, I decided to take Charlie for a brisk walk around the Garfield Park lagoon. It was a beautiful morning.
Sunday mornings are always interesting because the park is just waking up from Saturday night revelry. This morning was no exception. There was the usual garbage, two men sleeping on a bench with their pants undone and their hands... Well, you get the picture.
But the really sad sight for me was a very, very, thin, sickly-looking woman getting help from a friend to shoot heroin in her arm. Her friend looked concerned but seemed resigned to help the woman get the fix she needed. She was handing her tissues and looking at her with obvious compassion, a tragic mixture of love and hopelessness.
A quick shower and I was off to worship at River City Community Church. The worship was Spirit-filled and very moving especially in light of what I had just seen. Pastor Dan Hill asked the question, "What did it cost Jesus to love us?"
Jesus faced the fury of hell on the cross, felt nails plunged into his body, cried out as he was abandoned by the Father. It's extreme grace for extreme circumstances, so that captives can be set free, captives like the woman in the park, and me.