by Brandy Edenfield
As y’all may have noticed from my last couple blog entries, I am a HUGE lover of words. I love the power of words, the way one word can create a picture in our minds. The way it can stir up strong emotions and move us to action. I like digging into the meaning of a word and asking God to show me what the picture of that word looks like and how it applies to me and my life.
I was reminded this morning of the first time I felt this “love for words”. God dropped a word into my heart through a friend just months before I gave my heart to Jesus. I met Kenny at the restaurant I worked at in Raleigh, N.C. when I was 19 years old. Kenny was a 24 year old, skinny, white guy from Chicago and also the Lead chef at the restaurant. He was kind to everyone and had a joy and acceptance that overflowed to every person he met, no matter how “bad” the person was. Everyone loved Kenny.
After several conversations, I learned that Kenny was a Christian rapper and to my great surprise, he was VERY GOOD! He introduced me to several of his songs and some other artists that he liked. One day, he shared his story of rescue from a life full of crime, drugs and gangs. In sharing his truth, he said “God reached into my nightmare and paid a ransom to set me free when nothing and no-one else was willing nor had the resources to do so.” He shared one of the songs he wrote that described this “ransom”. It talked about bondage and slavery in a way that touched my heart so deeply. He painted a picture of captivity that he was powerless to break free from.
I didn’t know Jesus personally at this point, so I couldn’t fully grasp what Kenny had experienced, but it felt real and powerful when he talked about Him and I found myself wanting to know more about HIS Jesus. I grew up knowing of Jesus and remembered all the stories and old hymns from growing up in church, but THIS Jesus seemed more dominant and commanding. Much more like a mighty superhero than an old story about some guy that lived thousands of years ago. We talked several times over the next few weeks and I listened to his CD over and over and that one song became my favorite and I memorized every word.
One night while laying in bed, I couldn’t fall asleep and those lyrics played continuously through my head. The word “ransom” hit me hard! I didn’t recognize the images in my thoughts as the Holy Spirit then, but I know now that He made that word relevant in a way I could understand it through pictures. In my minds eye, I saw a young woman snatched up off the street, and placed, kicking and screaming into a black van. She was beaten, gagged and tied up. There were several large men surrounding her in the back of this van. The picture then changed to an old abandoned warehouse where she sat tied to a chair in middle of a room, gagged and blindfolded. I could feel her terror and fear. It felt so real!
Then a phone call was made to her father, a ransom demanded to be paid to ensure her survival. The price tag was EXUBERANT! MASSIVE! And the girl slumped with discouragement, not knowing if it was even possible for him to obtain that amount of cash, specifically in the short period of time that they demanded it be paid in. Then she heard her father boldly say “DONE!! Anything for my precious daughter! Where and when?”
The time and location were set and the transfer was made. She was released into the arms of her father, met with tears of joy and relief. She asked how he made it happen? He responded “I traded all that I had to pay your ransom because you are the only thing that matters. Being reconciled to you was worth everything.” Her ransom was PAID and she was FREE!
RANSOM: Price paid to return a possession or person.
Jesus paid my ransom! He paid the HIGH price that ALONE, set me free from bondage and captivity.