God dances with the outcast.
Follow the evidence to where it leads, even if the conclusion is uncomfortable.
Here is the paradox of the thing we call freedom: the farther we wander from God and the more we try to break free from him, the more enchained we become. Every step we take away from Him leads us farther from the freedom of Jesus and closer to the cruelty of Cain.
Change is not always a good thing. What I need is not change from one thing to another but transformation from who I am into who I was meant to become. Only when God's transforming power touches me can I begin to live the simpler, freer, fresher, more creative, more patient, more passionate, more sacrificial, riskier, rawer, more real, more love-driven life God intended for me all along. That transformation is what awaits all who dare to enter the story of God. As Paul wrote, 'Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think' (Romans 12:2)
The gifts of the Master are these: freedom, life, hope, new direction, transformation, and intimacy with God. If the cross was the end of the story, we would have no hope. But the cross isn't the end. Jesus didn't escape from death; he conquered it and opened the way to heaven for all who will dare to believe. The truth of this moment, if we let it sweep over us, is stunning. It means Jesus really is who he claimed to be, we are really as lost as he said we are, and he really is the only way for us to intimately and spiritually connect with God again.