She knows the Gospel. But she can’t hear it. I would like to say she is the only one. But the more I see the distressed look behind our thick eyelashes, the more I press against our wall of female self-protection, I’m wondering where the Gospel has gone for girls. She’s heard it before. Christ died for her sins. It was so amazing that someone so underserving, as she was, could receive such a gift. Freedom from death. Freedom from worry. Freedom from the sins that captured her here and now. She listened intently. Jesus stood in the judgement place, for her. Jesus paid a bloody justice, for her. Jesus breathed a new life from beyond the grave, for her. She clearly heard God’s promise. Her trashy shameful life was exchanged with the perfect life of His Son. Her evil thoughts and deeds were overwritten by the story of a Savior. Her failings and imperfections were restored to righteous beauty by the blood of the eternal Lamb.
She heard it before, but looking around she struggles to see how it matters. Mothers, friends, sisters, brothers, husbands, fathers were there for a season, or a reason—even to hang on to for a lifetime. But, walking with those she holds close is not freedom from worry. Friendships crumble, families betray, sisters gossip. She surrounds herself with a support system, who can cut her deeper than anyone else. She will put on a happy smile and count her Facebook friends for you. But her heart is bruised and battered by people who are supposed to truly love her. How can she forgive them when they’ve treated her so badly? How can she trust when she knows it will happen again? The Gospel doesn’t seem to surface in her ugly relationships.
She heard it before, but every day she struggles to live. Oh, she knows the good to do, but it’s never done. Books, mentors, Bible studies give her one more technique to make it right. Even her pastor maps out an outline for a more faithful life. But she’s tired of trying. She’s tired of lying about the façade of good things she does. She can’t keep this up forever. Her picture-perfect ideals scoff at her undone reality. Do you know how ashamed she is to ever admit this to you? And you pity her “depression” while she sinks farther away. Her own disappointing walk causes her to doubt the Gospel.
She’s heard it before, but her ears now are filled with so many other voices. They scream at her to stay home and serve only her husband. They cry out for her to finish a degree and excel in a career. They all weigh and measure the actions of every woman. Loudly and proudly they require her to look within herself and choose a side. But then, even you, leave it up to her to decide. You shrink back, as not to offend, even though she is searching for the truth. Circumstance continues to confuse her, and she will follow the path that is least painful. How does she know it’s where she should go? She can’t hear the voice of the Gospel.
She’s heard it before, but the Gospel must constantly be fed into her ears. She can’t make it up in her heart. She can’t conjure it up in her mind. She can’t feel it deep inside. The Gospel is an identity given to her—from the outside. When Christ found her immersed in sin, He broke in and gave her life. Nothing she said or felt made Jesus die and rise for her sin. Nothing she accomplished or acquired brought Jesus any closer to her heart. Nothing she failed or forgot distracted Christ from saving her from sin. Nothing she chose or avoided changed the purpose of the Son of God.
So where has the Gospel gone? It might surprise you. This breath of life hangs so close to her ear. This simple word of hope hovers just outside of her heart. This peaceful identity drifts right past her eye. It’s so close to her right now, but she can’t hear it. Because you have unknowingly hid it from her.
Your voice of comfort tells her she trusts in a Savior who has eternally conquered every evil, even when she is stung by the pain of today. Your voice of hope reminds her of her honored place above the angels, even when her family has deserted her. Your voice of forgiveness kills her sin, especially when she can’t follow God’s commands. Your voice of freedom reminds her she’s a saint, even though she can’t see it today. Your voice of restoration emboldens her to live as God’s creation, even when the other voices want her to change. Your voice of eternal victory is her path, even when she has forgotten.
She doesn’t need more to do. She doesn’t need more to be sorry for. She doesn’t need a doctrinally reviewed thesis of salvation. Pour His words over her filthy head. Feed her starving soul His promises. And she will hear the Gospel again. From you.
Your voice is the Gospel. Simply tell her who she is, and always will be, by the death and resurrection of Christ.