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Redeemed

Dear God, I was in church last night and the deacon preached about being redeemed. It made me think that I’ve never really thought about that word. It’s definition, I mean. Here’s what I found on Merriam-Webster Dictionary:


1a: 
to buy back REPURCHASE

b: to get or win back

2: to free from what distresses or harms: such as

a: to free from captivity by payment of ransom

b: to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental

c: to release from blame or debt CLEAR

d: to free from the consequences of sin

It made me think about the children’s storybook, Corduroy.

In it, a stuffed bear sits on a shelf, awaiting someone to purchase him. A little girl sees him and wants him, but her mother says no, pointing out that Corduroy is flawed. His overalls are missing a button. After they left, Corduroy does his best to find his button so that he will be worthy of purchase, but it doesn’t work out. The next day, the girl returns and tells Corduroy that she counted her money and she asked her mother if she could buy (redeem) him. After she took him home she sewed a button on his overalls saying, “I like you the way you are, but you’ll be more comfortable with your shoulder strap fastened.”

We read that book to our kids and, at one point, we were walking our own little girl through a PetSmart and she saw a stuffed Doberman with a missing eye. We tried to show her a similar one with both eyes, but she wanted the flawed one. Of course, we bought it for her and named him Corduroy. I can still picture our two-year-old daughter sitting in her stroller, holding a stuffed Doberman as big as she was. Our daughter is grown and gone now, but that toy is still in our home. I’ve told it that as long as I have a home it has a home. It might be a little silly, but I’ve always loved what that “dog” represents.

So I thought of all of this yesterday when the deacon started talking about Jesus redeeming us. Redeeming is what someone does when they pawn something and then go back for it. Redeemed is what someone does when it claims something (I redeemed a lottery ticket). I redeem my luggage when I claim it at the baggage claim. Something is sitting there waiting for its redemption. It’s lost all of its own agency and any power it has over the situation. It needs redeemed.

So here I am. A flawed bear, sitting on a shelf wondering if anyone can love the flawed person I am. I am that Doberman waiting for a little girl to claim me. And there you are. You knew I needed redeemed, but you had to come and do it yourself. And you love me the way I am, but you also know I’ll be more “comfortable” if you help me deal with some of my flaws.

All any of us have, really, is hope. We have the hope that Jesus gives us if we will recognize it. Jesus takes us off of that shelf, loves us the way we are and then gives us what we need to be complete. He redeems us. I am sorry he had to pay such a high price for my redemption. I am sorry I am not what I would consider to be worthy of the redemption. But I am grateful that you think I am worthy and that you have redeemed me. Thank you.

In Jesus’s name I pray,

Amen

 
 

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