December 10, 2019
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A Song For Redemption  | Have A Little Faith with Nadia Bolz-Weber

once sat at the death bed of a woman who
was dying of emphysema and in need of a priest. And I’m unclear if the fact
that the priest was me was just poetic or ironic, since 20
years earlier, it was the same woman who had saved my ass. I was a messed up kid
trying to get sober. And Suzanne offered
that I could live for a while in her spare bedroom
while I got my act together. She believed that I
was not irredeemable, that I was more than the
sum total of my mistakes. And two decades later,
I would sit by her bed in a senior high rise
and give her a space to confess her own brokenness. Suzanne, I would say, would
you like to tell me the things that weigh on your conscience. She gave a raised eyebrow
and spoke the things she had done which had troubled her. Some were funny. Others were sad. And one was
particularly painful. I heard her secrets while
holding her bruised, papery hand and then asked
her if she believed that the word of forgiveness
I was about to proclaim to her was from God. And she said she did. And then I just told
her that she’s forgiven. I assured her, as
she had assured me, that she’s not the sum total
of her mistakes and that our higher power,
that powerful force of love in this
universe has the ability to redeem all of our crap. As we sat there, Suzanne wiped
away her tears and adjusted her oxygen tube and said, I
feel unbelievably lighter, in a whisper. She was so beautiful in
that moment, so free. I too felt comforted by the
knowledge that no matter how much of a distracted ingrate
I had been when she took me in, that a higher power could
somehow redeem me and redeem her and redeem our
stories and all our broken mess of a beautiful life. This is the life we
get here on Earth. We get to give away
what we receive. We get to believe in each other. We get to forgive
and be forgiven. We get to love imperfectly. And we never know what effect
it will have for years to come. And all of it– all of it is
completely worth it. [MUSIC PLAYING]

Otis Rodgers



  1. Linda Birdbike Posted on March 23, 2019 at 3:47 am

    How wonderful that you were able to offer her that gift…To carry to her the one thing that she needed the most in that moment as she had for you 20 yrs earlier.

  2. Christine York Posted on April 3, 2019 at 11:54 pm

    Such a beautiful honest loving relationship being there for each other. Thank you for sharing Nadia, I needed to hear this x

  3. EJ Chavez Posted on April 9, 2019 at 5:47 am

    Love you Nadia

  4. John MacArthur Posted on June 6, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Never heard anyone like you. I'm not gay, not tattooed, not a pastor – just someone waiting for the bus, trying to find their way home.

  5. Ross Hansen Posted on August 24, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    If you can watch this and not cry…I feel so very sad for you!