Seeing God as He Really Is

Some in the religious establishment have so disfigured God that people see him as a demanding tyrant who orchestrates horrible tragedies to punish or train them. They don’t know God as a loving Father or Jesus as a gracious Redeemer who is not manipulating the chaos of darkness to torment them into obedience; Father and Son are reaching into the chaos with a love so profound and rich that it can rescue us from any tragedy life has dealt us.

That came home to me in the last couple of days as I’ve had conversations with sixty or so people who are in various stages of fighting for freedom and sobriety against horrendous trauma in their lives. I am humbled by their struggle and admire so much the courage it takes to confront their brokenness and learn to rely on Jesus to do what they are powerless to solve on their own.

One of these conversations happened in a state-run rehab facility, where the people had read The Shack or watched the movie and wanted to discuss how Father intersects with their own journeys. The questions were poignant, their observations astute, and their passion to find what’s true was evident in their comments. Many of them had had religious experiences that turned them off to God.  It was an incredible joy to talk with them  in such starkly honest terms about who God is and how he wanted to be involved in their lives.

And that’s just the last two days. Throughout this trip, our personal connections have been rich, and the joy I feel watching Sara share from her trauma story warms my heart in ways you can’t imagine. What a trip we have had! We think back on so many conversations and so many old friendships rekindled, and new ones begun. After our weekend in Pennsylvania, it will be time to turn this ship westward and home to California.

Though we took our time getting out to the east coast, we are going to take a quick and direct route home. It is time to get back to our life there. So, with apologies to those in Iowa and South Dakota, who hoped we would come through those states, we are taking a more southerly route home. Here’s how that route looks now:

We are not planning a lot of big gatherings after Lexington, KY. The rest of the trip will be more about personal connections with those who desire it. . But we will take time in these areas to connect with people who may desire it. We’re still finalizing what this might look like, so if you’re interested in connecting, please email Wayne as soon as possible.  



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.