Last night, I returned to the rooming house where I first lived in this college town, 34 years ago. Invited to talk about forgiveness and inner healing to an ecumenical, international bible study, I encouraged young believers that they, too, could be delivered from shame and unforgiveness.

I was full of unrealized bitterness the day I moved into the room at the top of the stairs. Having deposited my earthly goods earlier, I returned to find my new roommate kneeling by the side of the bed. "I’m praying," she said. "I’ll be with you in 20 minutes."

I laid on my bed and turned my back to her. Though I was on a search for "truth," I wasn’t interested in Jesus.

But I began to wonder if Jesus was truth that semester I lived with Rosina and by January, I told him, "Jesus, if you’re there, I want to know about it."

As soon as I said the words, that long-ago day, I sensed a presence, the same presence that filled the living room of that same house last night. As I sang of Jesus’ deep, deep love with his people gathered from around the world yesterday evening, I felt the tears on my cheeks. Only Jesus.

Only Jesus can heal hearts.

Only Jesus can give faith.

Only Jesus will deliver us from our sin and the effects of others’ sin.

Jesus, you are deliverer. We need you to continue to deliver us from our unforgiveness and shame and to bring us safely into your heavenly kingdom, as you have promised. Thank you.

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