Filippo Lippi, Adoration of the Christ Child,
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Gemäldegalerie
I have been travelling a lot this week and heard on the car radio (590 am, WEZE) an interview with a man called Jeff, from the ‘Denver Nuggets’! He was involved in an aeroplane crash, but freed himself from the wreckage. He then rushed back into the burning mass in response to the cries of a baby, reckless as to his own safety. The baby was saved. Later on he grew deeply depressed because his best friend, Jay, was killed in the crash, but his wife told him, ‘I get my strength from the Lord.’ Gradually, in desperation, he turned to Christ. The interviewer said, ‘Our Saviour rescued us, just as you saved that baby. He did not think of his own suffering, but only of saving us. He reached right down into our sin and despair and paid the price for saving us.’
We cannot begin to assess that price, or even imagine it. I was a small child when I was first aware of the great love Jesus had for me, but I will still never fully comprehend it, forty-something years later.
Sometimes we can be in the middle of a routine task when the enormity of Christ’s work of grace overwhelms us. I was writing Christmas cards, and one was to a young man called Richard. He was once more attending church because of the life and witness of another friend, Clarence. Clarence had been paralysed in a road accident. My husband asked, ‘Would you be willing then to lose your mobility to save someone’s soul?’ I felt sure I would be willing if it were for a member of my family. I was not sure about my friends, and even less sure about my enemies! I feel very small and weak when I think of these things. My love is so insignificant compared with the love of Christ (Romans 5: ‘while we were yet sinners…’).
Divine love is available to us all. It is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5). We gather on Sundays to receive the Lord afresh for the week ahead. He reaches down, as we reach up. Let your hand meet his hand now.
Commissioner Helen Clifton
Commissioner Helen Clifton was promoted to Glory on 14 June 2011.
Chosen by her husband, General Shaw Clifton (Retired), the above post represents writings from almost every phase of Commissioner Helen Clifton's influential service as a Salvation Army officer - including testimonies, personal insights from her prayer journals, and material from her time as World President of Women's Ministries.