A good friend of mine wrote today of John Stott’s profound impact on her life:
A good friend [not me--Tom] introduced me to his book, “The Cross of Christ”. I read it, begrudgingly. I didn’t want the things that Stott wrote about, to be truth. For if things that Stott taught—the centrality of the cross, the necessity of the cross, the authenticity of the cross–were truth, then who Jesus was and the reason He died on the cross would be truth also, a hard thing for my agnostic-leaning, atheistic-embracing soul to bear. That God would send His Son—would SACRIFICE–His Son out of love for me was overwhelming.
And yet, read I did. Page after page. I devoured “The Cross of Christ”, digging deeper into each and every page, marking it up with highlighters and notes in the margins—”Is this true?” ”What if this is truth?” ”Why would Stott write this very logical paragraph?”. And So Forth. And So On.
Until I came to the last chapter, and one of the last sections, titled “The Pain of God”. My soul. Could it be truth that God could know pain? Could it be truth that He could see and know the pain my soul was in? For I had settled that there could not possibly be a God. Because if there was a God, than the forsaken nature of the pain I felt was for nothing. And yet…..and yet I learned through Stott’s writings and through the Biblical story of the Garden of Gethsemane and the Cross itself, that God not only sees my pain–He knows it. He knows it. …