On the heels of Philip Yancey's best-selling The Jesus I Never Knew comes his equally insightful exploration of grace, the most powerful force in the universe and our only hope for love and forgiveness. Winner of the Gold Medallion Book Award, the Christian Book of the Year Award, and the Retailers Choice Award.
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January 30, 2005
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Excerpt from What's So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
THE LAST BEST WORD
Itold a story in my book The Jesus I Never Knew, a true story that long
afterward continued to haunt me. I heard it from a friend who works
with the down-and-out in Chicago:
A prostitute came to me in wretched straits, homeless, sick,
unable to buy food for her two-year-old daughter. Through sobs
and tears, she told me she had been renting out her daughterý
two years old!ýto men interested in kinky sex. She made more
renting out her daughter for an hour than she could earn on her
own in a night. She had to do it, she said, to support her own
drug habit. I could hardly bear hearing her sordid story. For one
thing, it made me legally liableýIým required to report cases of
child abuse. I had no idea what to say to this woman.
At last I asked if she had ever thought of going to a church
for help. I will never forget the look of pure, naive shock that
crossed her face. ýChurch!ý she cried. ýWhy would I ever go
there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. Theyýd just
make me feel worse.ý
What struck me about my friendýs story is that women much like
this prostitute fled toward Jesus, not away from him. The worse a person
felt about herself, the more likely she saw Jesus as a refuge. Has the
church lost that gift? Evidently the down-and-out, who flocked to Jesus
when he lived on earth, no longer feel welcome among his followers.
What has happened?