I will free you… I will redeem you… I will take you… and I will be your God (vv. 6-7).
If the Just Mercy trailer makes you cry, have ample Kleenex when you watch the movie. The injustices in the film will break your heart. I anticipated that vicarious pain. But what caught me off guard was the emotional effect of Bryan Stevenson’s persistent courage, which stirred the audience in unexpected ways. As the young lawyer continues to pursue what is right, his defeated client Walter McMillian, an innocent death row inmate, starts believing in the possibility of justice again. McMillian remembers who he is and reclaims his own courage and truth. This is an amazing feat for someone locked in a place where hope is hard to come by and change seems impossible. When the judge finally announces that McMillian’s case is dismissed, movie-goers were swept into the scene, some of us weeping uncontrollably with the characters. We were astounded by the remarkable experience of one set free.
When Moses tells the Israelites that God is going to liberate them, they would not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and their cruel slavery (v. 9). They have gained their disbelief and cynicism from painful experience. But as devastating as their experiences have been, God’s vision for their future is vast.
When hope is hard to come by and change feels impossible, trust in God whose vast vision helps us picture a better day. God can free us, redeem us, take us, and be our God. Pray that our disappointments will not limit our faith. Ask for divine help to reclaim our identity as the child of God we truly are. Know the experience of those set free.
When has God’s liberating grace surprised you? What do you need to be freed from today?
God, free me from all that closes my heart to you. Show me your vision. Teach me your ways. Help me hope again. Make me yours. Amen.