“What prostitutes?”

Oh, but that my eyes might see Your face;

to look at You whilst I swim in grace.

Once drowning in waves of sin’s attention,

Yet now held freely by the Man, Redemption.

Redemption: I’ve often said that redemption not only speaks of freedom but offers a Hope only the once enslaved can understand. A Hope that shouts, “You are worth so much more than you can ever imagine. You may not believe Me now, but trust Me. You are set free; really, truly FREE.” But, sometimes, it’s far to0 easy to forget how free we really are.

Forgotten: As brutal words and punches of anger were thrown back and forth across the meeting room, in walked a missionary to Grace Gardens. The missionary separated the women and asked, “Why are you fighting?! What has happened?” The women explained, “We were fighting about our pasts. We are all prostitutes.” The missionary, confused, asked, “What prostitutes?” The ladies replied, “Auntie, it is us. We are the prostitutes.”  The missionary then looked into the faces of five beautiful women and with the truth of Jesus said, “I see no prostitutes here.”

Forgiven. When the ladies of Grace Gardens left their lives of prostitution and accepted Christ as their Savior they were instantly forgiven. Not only forgiven but made a new creation in Christ. They are no longer prostitutesThey are daughters of the Most High King; prized treasures to be LOVED not sold.

Us too. The same goes for every believer! We’re promised in scripture that when we are forgiven, we are separated from our sin. We are “removed from our transgressions.” And because of that we are no longer enslaved to our sin; we are set free. We are redeemed!! We are invited to sing a song the angels themselves cannot sing. A song of redemption.

Defined. Webster says the definition of redemption is this: “the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil” or “the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.” Redemption is an action; just as love is an action. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Christ DID something for US. Redemption is much like that. Once we were a broken down, secondhand, piece of trash, but Jesus bought us “as is” and made us new! He turned our lives of prostitution into a lovely story of redemption.

But not all the same. It is true that none of our stories are the same. One can argue that’s what makes them each so uniquely beautiful. Sometimes our stories of redemption are short and fun to tell. Sometimes they are full of deep wounds, huge regrets, angry grief, and sorrowful remorse. My redemption story, should the Lord ever give me the courage to share it with the world, is full of the latter. But no matter what my story is, and no matter how it differs from yours or the ladies of Grace Gardens, the theme and outline of each story remains the same: once a secondhand ‘prostitute’, bought by loving God and redeemed by the Savior of the world.

Remember. Redemption stories are one of my most favorite things. I believe it is because they often speak of people once enslaved in immeasurable pain who found the freedom of Jesus Christ in His eternal hope. Because of this we cannot forget; We are THE REDEEMED. If the God of all hope, the God of all love, the God of all peace, the God of ALL, can redeem us from our sin, from our pasts, from our old selves, surely we can strive to remember one thing: We are no longer prostitutes.

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