I've been doing too many crossword puzzles. They're driving me to distraction. I'll hear an interesting or familiar word and try to imagine what its crossword clue might be. Of course (honest confession is good for the soul), there are words that I randomly ponder anyway. For example: paradox. Do they always come in pairs, or could you just have one dox? What would that be? A straightforward phenomenon instead of one that pulls you in opposite directions?
This morning I heard the word "redeemed" as part of our team prayer before service. And I thought to myself: hmmm...redeemed...crossword clue -- 'to deem again.' Because of course, it was deemed in the first place.
I thought about relationships. I've had to help my friends mourn some broken ones in recent months. You ever hear the phrase, "I love you, but I don't like you very much right now"? Some relationships can weather that kind of storm. Others can't. Whether friends or lovers or whatever...they chose each other once. But at that moment, if faced with the same choice, they may not do it again. Even more heartbreaking is "I don't love you and I don't like you, but I'll stay because I'm trapped" (by commitment, by shared history, by intersecting social circles, by whatever).
I wonder sometimes if I would be chosen again.
*Warning: ramble ahead. It's perfectly acceptable to skip this paragraph* Chosen now. Now, not when I'm an innocent little girl asking my mom if I would have to ask Jesus into my heart with all the people at church watching. Not when I'm a middle schooler hungrier for discipleship than anything else I could imagine. Not when I went out on a limb and went on my first mission trip. Not when I was learning how to live out this whole Jesus-walk thing in college. Not when I came home to carry a worship mantle. Not when I laid that mantle down to pass the worship legacy to those I believed would follow after me....but now. When I'm a 20-something, who fell into some sort of career and is living on the fringe of so many things. I wonder if I've made the right choices, and if I've lived up to my potential, and if I'm living a life that leaves others feeling God's love "in my face, my eyes, and my smile." The person I am has changed so much. And I'm not saying that it's a bad thing, I'm just noticing that it's a different thing.
All those things flashed through my head in a split second and I asked myself: "I still don't understand why, but you deemed me once...would you redeem me again? I know you love me, but do you like me right now? I know you'll never leave me, but do you ever feel trapped?"
And just as quickly, the answer came back loud and clear. That word "redeemed" transformed into the phrase "I would choose you again."
I chose you once.
I gave my son and chose you twice.
And today, just as you are...I would choose you again.
That was exactly what I needed to hear.
"For not, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name. You are mine."
"I choose you again."