Are You a Redeemer?


By Matt Williams

are-you-redeemerThere is a certain word that keeps popping up in my life lately: redemption. It started shortly after a youth program on how God redeems bad situations in order to reveal himself to the world. Over the last three weeks words like redeemer, deliverer, ransomed, and restored kept slipping into my mind. As I do not put much stock in coincidence, I took the hints and focused some personal reflection time on the idea of redemption. And a central question emerged: Am I a redeemer? 

Faithful people typically see themselves as being “redeemed”, but I find few people who think of themselves as a “redeemer”. Perhaps this is because when we think of a redeemer, it is about the “capital R” Redeemer of all creation. Since no mortal can fill those shoes, we readily stay humble and leave the title of “Redeemer” to God. Yet my inner dialog kept pointing to this question: Am I a redeemer?

As it turns out, I think I am. And I am pretty sure you are too.

You and I are involved in the 30 Hour Famine. We may do it in different ways and in different cities, but we all do the Famine. That means that we see the ravages of hunger and have concluded this is not the way the world should be. In spite of the odds against us, we take action to eliminate the damage caused by hunger. And the actions we take build pathways to offer hope instead of hopelessness. That sounds an awful lot like the work of redemption to me.

Whether you know it or not, you are a redeemer. Every time you do the 30 Hour Famine, every time you fight injustice, every time you share love, you work to fix our broken world. You refuse to accept that things cannot be made better and made whole again. There is something inside you that tells you to leave this Earth in better shape than when you arrived, even though that is hard work.

The 30 Hour Famine is not about the fundraising, or the fasting, or the service. The 30 Hour Famine is not about the shirt or hat or socks you get for participating. No, the Famine is about redeeming the lives of people we will never meet, in places we will never go, in ways we may never fully comprehend. It is about a sacrifice on our part, to share love and hope without condition or payment. It is about seeing lives in jeopardy, and restoring them to health and full lives.

The answer seems pretty clear to me. But what do you think? Are you a redeemer?