Hearts Restored

Hi everyone, Rob here.

This week I’d like to offer to you something I wrote a few years ago as I tried to capture what Easter would look like from a disciple’s perspective. I chose Peter and his thoughts after Christ’s resurrection. To me it sums up a lot of what we experience in our faith. We israel-476955_640know the truth. Christ is risen, he is truly Lord and God, but we often find ourselves feeling distant from him. The offer of his love never quite seems to make its way into our hearts. Jesus offers us, through his death and resurrection, the personal restoration of our lives to God. He offers us mercy and grace that reaches into the deepest, ugliest parts of our being and brings life, light and beauty. That was Peter’s experience and as you read this (I suggest reading it out loud) I pray that it helps to open your heart towards the loving heart of Jesus.

I should have been happy; been at peace

But I wasn’t. My soul was restless. Why?

I mean I’d seen the empty tomb. Mary told me about her conversation. He’d come to meet with us, twice.

It was real, I knew that. He was alive. He was alive!

But there I was, back home, so restless I just couldn’t sit still. Fishing seemed like the only thing I could do. I had to be busy, you know.

It was a waste of time. No fish. Typical. Just another long night alone with my thoughts … and my guilt.

Ah, my guilt. That’s what was eating away at me. Jesus was alive, but I felt distant from him somehow. Scared, now that I think about it.

After all, I denied him. 3 times, just like he said I would.

What a failure! No courage. No loyalty. A wimp.

I was confused I guess. I mean the Messiah arrested, rejected by the priests. What was going on? That was not how it was meant to turn out. Glory, honour, the throne of David! That’s what was meant to happen.

I wasn’t listening. How many times did he tell us that he would suffer and die? And I missed it. Didn’t want to know, thank you very much.

It’s becoming clearer now. Forget conquering Rome; conquering death now that’s power!

I mean, he’s glorious now. Like he was on the mountain with Elijah and Moses. Except he has scars. I’ll never forget those scars.

It’s like he absorbed all that evil and defeated it somehow. In fact, all that he said and did seems a lot clearer now. Love your enemies and all of that. I’m going to have to think through this a lot.

I should have been happy, but then I was, kind of.

The sun had just risen. We were so tired and frustrated when this dude says try the other side of the boat. In our hearts we must have known it was him because we just did it. And there you go; just like 3 years ago; our nets were full of fish.

John said it first, but we all knew. It was the Lord.

I had to be with him; touch him. I know it was crazy but into the water I dived. I’m sure I heard Jesus laugh!

I was full of adrenalin. I even tried to drag the net of fish in. We counted them later. 153 fish. What was I thinking! I’m sure Jesus laughed again.

I wasn’t laughing though. I knew why I wasn’t happy. I wanted him to speak with me; just me.

I wanted him to say, ‘it’s OK Peter.” I forgive you. Not that I deserved that. But I was here. I came back. That’s got to count for something doesn’t it?

Everyone else ate and was happy. I couldn’t stomach the food. My heart was racing and then…he talked to me.

At least it was an easy question…do you love me more than these? Of course Lord. I mean I did an awful cowardly thing but I love you; always have. I know who you are and here you are, alive, glorious, risen. Yes, I love you more than anything this world can give me.

And then you ask me again. Yes Lord, you know that I love you.

And then again. I feel hurt. Did I sound insincere? Is this a test? And what does feed my sheep mean anyway?

I get it now. 3 times. 3 times I denied him, 3 times he restored me. And he’s given me a task and, I think an end.

So, here I am now, in Jerusalem, surrounded by my friends. Jesus has gone home to his Father. I get that now as well. And I’m waiting, we’re waiting. Something big is going to happen. I’m excited, a bit scared and…happy.

Happy Easter everyone. Blessings.

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