By Erin McKenna
Four months ago, the Lord burned the word “freedom” into my heart. I have it. I love it. I want everyone to know what it feels like. This quest to release freedom to the nations begins by taking the love of Christ to those who have been in darkness for so long; they are desperate for light and life.
We met Miguel at a drug rehabilitation center. Most of the men in the center have been dropped off by the police and are now participants in a discipleship/detox program. These men are what the world would label the “worst of sinners.” Theyve sold themselves to drugs and alcohol. Theyve abandoned their families, robbed, cheated and earned their titles as outcasts. They are despised by the world, but to the Lord, they are trophies of inexplicable grace. He sought each one. He waited until his timing was perfect. Now he calls them to their inheritance as his sons. At the center, they are trained in Scripture, sowing the Word of God in their minds and hearts.
Miguels struggle with sin isnt much different than any of the other men at the center. But how the world responded to Miguel will forever haunt him. Growing up in a small rural community in Mexico, Miguel was a feared man. He tormented his neighbors with his drug and alcohol abuse. He destroyed property and stole from any and everyone. At the threat of the community to excommunicate his family, they locked Miguel into a six by six foot wooden box and cut off all connections with him. For three years, Miguel lived in darkness. Being fed through a small hole in the wall and sleeping in his own waste, Miguels future was nothingness.
Louis, who worked at the rehab center, heard about Miguel and pursued him. After speaking with the family, it was agreed that Miguel would be released into the care of the center. A little over a year later, the testimony of love reads clearly on Miguels face. His mind is forever flawed, but his heart knows peace, love, and repentance. As Louis shared Miguels story with us, the expression of Miguels face changed. He recognized the depravity of his own heart. Hearing his past spoken of in front of a group, Miguel felt shame. The Lord broke our hearts for this young man and we began to pray favor, blessing, and the love of Christ over him. A laugh and smile grew on his face as we assured him of his acceptance in our lives and before his heavenly Father. Miguel has seen the face of Jesus. He knows the power of love.
I walk away forever changed. Ive never been forced into a physical box, but I have lived in darkness. Miguels story so clearly depicts every mans condition apart from Christ. We are bound–chained to our sin. In our own strength we are completely unable to break free, but Jesus Jesus had mercy. May we be counted worthy to find the lost, broken, and hurting and shine onto them the light and love of Christ. May the sound of freedom continue to resonate in our hearts as we shine forth into the darkness.