“For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:10
I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m a HUGE fan of shows like The Twilight Zone. I’m a sucker for stories that play with the mind, leave you guessing, or give a new twist to a common theme. One of those shows is The Outer Limits.
The theme of one particular episode of TOL was redemption. The story’s main character is a young man who is on the run from police, having just shot former co-workers at an office party and been wounded during a police shootout. The young man was upset at having been fired from his company and sent to prison for committing white-collar crime. While hiding in a diner, he is approached by a stranger who speaks to him about his past, getting him to reconsider what he’s done and to seek repentance. Both the main character and the viewer are left to speculate whether the stranger is from another world or is a guardian angel.
Toward the end of the episode, the stranger is able to show the error of the young man’s ways and how every selfish, criminal act – no mater how benign – has consequences that can drastically affect other people. The stranger then takes on the young man’s wound and identity, allowing the young man to escape the diner and begin a fresh start in life. The narrator closes the show with the following words: “Redemption. A second chance – begins not with a change in circumstance, but with a change of heart.”
I firmly believe that God is a God of second chances. And third chances. And fourth chances. His grace is sufficient to overcome any burden or transgression, no matter how often repeated. All that’s needed is a change of heart by the redeemed. King David, no stranger to acts of sin, is “Exhibit A” in this regard.
How many of us have experienced redemptive moments? Spiritually, professionally, socially, have there been times in which you’ve undergone a change of heart?
As a writer, this is also something I’ve contemplated with my characters. Do they experience a changed heart? Do they long for a second chance? Or are they so far gone are they no longer capable of turning themselves around? How does their redemption or their attempted redemption affect other characters? Where does this now take the story?
Redemption is both the title and theme of my latest short story and has been added to my blog. I hope you enjoy it!