Today I saw it. I saw hope in real live flesh. I saw a young woman tell a room full of us that we didn't have to be worried about her. That her little brother's death by drug overdose had not robbed her of her faith. That she felt for the first time that she knows what real faith even is. That she'd been walking around with her fists clenched but that now her hands are open. That she wants to run up to people and take them by the shoulders and say, "Do you know? God loves us! God is good!" She was literally electrified with Holy-Spirit-energy as she exclaimed, "My big question was, is my brother in heaven? And I know a lot of you were worried about me because of that... well, I'm here to tell you what has been revealed to me is that there is NO WAY the brother I love isn't at this very moment with the God I love. No way."
I couldn't help it - before I could stop myself a hearty "Amen!!!" escaped my lips. I did at least manage to keep myself in the chair. Barely.
That's it. That's why what we believe about hell matters. Clenched fists. Open hands. God is good. God loves us. Electrifying Holy-Spirit energy. HOPE.
That's it. All over her face. Amen!
I don't know that she'd say her "doctrine" has changed. Right now she doesn't care about doctrine. She needs her God. And He's got her.
He's got me, too. He's got me when I agree and yell "amen". He's got me when I disagree and quietly weep. He's got me when my hands are high in worship and He's got me when my brow is furrowed with confusion.
He's got me.
And He hasn't lost me yet.