Have you considered that going to Hell with someone might just be the ultimate show of devoted and selfless love you could ever demonstrate? Or to put it another way: Have you ever walked a hellish road trudging behind someone you loved? Have you tried to keep step with a drum beating out notes of addiction and deception that capture the heart of this one you love?
And I'm not talking about enabling or justifying any illicit or sinful behavior. I'm talking about loving through pain, coping alongside someone. There is a way around hell and there is a way to it and through it. In this life, do you have the courage to stand while the one you love walks a broken road? Or while walking along this blistering journey, can you find the strength to surrender to whatever comes your way? Can you choose to love at all costs and despite the view? Isn't this, after all, what Jesus did?
Love is wide and high and deep, we're told. And if we aim to love in a fashion that is wide, high, and deep, mustn't we aim to see the start and finish lines of our own lives as the magnificent bigger picture? Can we pour ourselves out and become lesser?
Weren't we once prisoners ourselves set free by the Love who intimately knew the depths of our agony and pain? Didn't Liberty beckon to our vagrant hearts, and then didn't Love break the shackles? Didn't Liberty teach us lessons at great cost? And do we remember that Destruction unwittingly paved the way to a restored heart?
Perhaps you know someone who is struggling. Maybe she's your prodigal. Maybe he's your best friend, blindsided by unfortunate events.
Just how will you walk this road with him? Do you care enough to go to hell, to experience the turmoil? Do you have the courage to walk behind, beside, and in front of? To stand, to sit, to run, and to fall on your knees in prayer? Will you find stamina to carry the cross for someone you care deeply for in order to show them you have learned what it means to truly live?
What pain. What anguish. What love.
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross,
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