Monday, October 4, 2010

A Room Full of People, By Kelli Zaniel

Once Upon a Time, in a place not so far away, there was a room full of broken people. This particular room was over-crowded and a bit stuffy. People piled in and squeezed together. Strangers sat shoulder to shoulder wondering if they would survive another day. They wished the storyline of their lives had been different.

They were marked by homelessness, drug addiction and heartbreak. They traveled different roads but their destination was the same.

They had dirt under their nails; holes in their clothes; and grocery bags full of dreams that never came true.

Once Upon a Time, and a couple of years later, there is a room full of the same people. The room is still crowded and definitely stuffy. Happy people pile in and squeeze together-- only this time, family and friends are seated too.

They sit with shoulders rolled back and heads held high. Their lives no longer defined by suffocating shame and cursing condemnation. They no longer care where they’ve been because they know where they’re going.

They stand in the shadow of the cross. Jesus’ sacrifice calls them. By the wounds of a selfless Savior they are healed, redeemed, and pardoned. They breathe in the braveness of mercy and exhale the freeness of grace.

This new heart is unfamiliar. It’s not what they’re use to. Like wearing a new pair of shoes, it’s awkward and uncomfortable at first; but after one foot steps forward and then another, it gets easier.

With trickling tears and a set free heart, each newly adopted child of God stands behind the podium. They tell similar stories of sinner turned saint. Testimonies of how the Creator of the Universe paused for them. How He reached down his hand of light into their pit of personal darkness.

Their burdened souls finally find liberty as their sin is unevenly swapped for the righteousness of Jesus.

I’m in the audience. I watch. I listen. I cry. Tears stain my cheek. I hold back an uncontrollable sobbing session as I am overwhelmed by the mightiness of our God.

I look down at my shoes. It doesn’t matter what kind of shoes I wear, what kind of clothes I have on, or what kind of make-up I use; I am just like them underneath. A broken person thinking hope is lost but realizing hope is born out of suffering.

We may camouflage old wounds with fancy clothes, a fake smile, or a seat in the first pew, but we all need the healing power of Jesus in exactly the same way.

We can remember the past without letting it define us. God is the only One who defines us…He defines us as His.

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33, NLT).

Thanks to Bridget Chumbley for allowing me to link with her website today on the topic of healing.


  1. I love the way God etched the memory of that special evening on your heart! "Standing in the shadow of the cross"... beautiful!

  2. What you said was so true. I have watched the homeless, addicted, helpless, sorrow-filled become "children of God." In some ways, that would have been me... some of the description fit me and mine thoroughly... and now I'm not only a "child of God" or a "God-mom", but now a "God-g-ma" and it goes on and on. [It's a tough world out there... some of us understand it more intimately than others.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Wow... thank you for posting at the carnival. I love this:

    Their burdened souls finally find liberty as their sin is unevenly swapped for the righteousness of Jesus.