As I woke up very early this morning, my mind and heart once again ruminated on all the chaos and carnage connected to the Willow Creek story. So much loss and pain and broken relationships as a consequence of sin. It would be quite natural and easy to go to a place of despair. To conclude that maybe this whole idea of church is a disaster and it would be best for smart people to run far, far away.
And yet…….what more powerful two words can there be? AND YET……I still have hope. Though my soul is weary and exhausted, though the storm is raging on the eve of the Leadership Summit, I still hold on to hope. Here’s just a few reasons:
- I have hope simply because I know the God of Hope. I learned the astonishing good news at the age of 7 that Jesus loves me in spite of my sin. That I can be forgiven and transformed over time. That one day I will stand before Him, and only because of His extraordinary grace, He will say, “She is mine.”
- I have hope because throughout Scripture we read that our God responds to the prayers of broken, humble people. That when even the smallest remnant of his followers lament their sin and seek the truth, He will usher in healing.
- I have hope because 5 years ago now, God gave an assignment to Leanne Mellado to steward some heavy secrets, and she has been faithful ever since to call out for truth and justice. She was joined by her husband, Jimmy, and by WCA Board member Nancy Ortberg who courageously called the Board to do the right thing. Since then God has raised up other voices and unearthed other secrets and women have bravely told their stories. This brings me great hope because I believe truth and love and grace will prevail.