English Standard Version (ESV)
In the age of social media scandal and outrage and the general lack of human decency we see at every level of society, there is a story that ought to be the lead in every major news channel out there. An umpire was walking to a baseball game in Pittsburgh and noticed a woman in despair climb over the railing of a bridge, about to cast herself into the murky depths below. He rushed over and held her, refusing to let go, refusing to allow her to fall to the fate she thought she wanted. When she told him that he would forget her, he said he'll never forget her.
This is the Gospel, wrapped up in real life. When we pursue what we think we want, unaware of the true cost of our actions, God rushes to us, holding on so tightly that we cannot break free from his love, and he whispers words of love and assurance into the depths our hearts when we are breaking in despair. This is the Gospel, that when hope is about to disappear into the murky depths, God appears from on high and radiates life back into our bones. This is the Gospel, that people are called to act out the selfless love of God in one another's lives, rather than just sit back and watch as society, as lives, crumble into the dust that surrounds us.
I don't know that I've heard a better true story than one of man refusing to let go of a stranger who simply wanted to resign herself to despair. When her hope had run out, he was willing to share his.
Friends, this is how God loves you. He never lets go, he never gives up, and there is hope beneath the pain.