Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blotted tears and Grace

In 2001 I met Jenna (not her real name) at the hospital. Her mother called me: Jenna nearly died as she had been using heroin for over a year. Her mother was tired and worried. Jenna was a beautiful young girl, 22 years old and studying at University. During her third year, she had been experimenting with Heroin and became hooked.
She had already been to rehab , but it had only taken two weeks before she started using again. Jenna was tired of this lifestyle and this last experience really scared her. She cried and told me that she knew that she needed Christ in her life. We prayed together and she accepted Christ into her heart. This was not a decision she took lightly, she started reading her Bible, attending church and altering her lifestyle.

The problem with a drug like Heroin is that only a very small percentage of users ever kick the habit. Jenna would arrive at my office eyes all puffy because she had been crying all night. She was so ashamed, the previous night one of her old dealers came by and left her a gift. She could not help herself. She would cry out asking me how was it still possible for God to love her. I would read her the scriptures about grace and she wrote them down. At one stage she asked me for a printout of all the verses on grace.
Over the next nine months Jenna really struggled. She went to different programs, different doctors, but nothing helped. She kept on praying, kept on coming to church kept on crying about her inability to walk away from the habit.
Then one night about 11 o’clock her flat mate called me. Jenna was not responding, she was not breathing. I immediately phoned the ambulance services and raced over to her flat. The paramedics and I arrived simultaneously at the scene. It was too late. She had died of an overdose, the needle marks between her toes.
Her parents asked me to conduct the funeral which I did, I talked about the grace of God. But it felt so empty. At the grave we prayed together and her mother came forward and placed Jenna’s Bible on her coffin. We sang Amazing Grace, the wind blew softly, the pages of her bible where fluttering in the wind. When the song had finished, I looked down. The Bible was open at one of the verses about grace. You could see the spine of the Bible was used to open here. Romans 8
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
This scripture was underlined in blue pen. But what stroke me, was the way the tears that had fallen from her eyes blotted the page. As she had sat over her Bible crying before God, her tears and the ink of the pen made the most wonderful patterns.
What stood out was “Who is he that condemns?” and “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Have you ever sought Christ with tears blotting the bible and have you ever found grace, the type of grace that is enough even when you are not strong enough. Christ is waiting . He will never turn you away.

More stories of faith


  1. Sy het self bely dat sy Jesus in haar lewe nodig het - haar volharding in geloof deur al haar beproewings is prysenswaardig - ongelukkig het alle goeie dinge nie altyd n gelukkige einde nie - Jesus het immers vir die sondaars gekom - ek glo sy is vandag veilig by die God wat sy so na gesmag het.

  2. bossie, ek dank God dat hy vir ons sondaars gekom het.

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