wide open


By entering through faith into what God has always wanted to do for us—set us right with him, make us fit for him—we have it all together with God because of our Master Jesus. And that’s not all: We throw open our doors to God and discover at the same moment that he has already thrown open his door to us. We find ourselves standing where we always hoped we might stand—out in the wide open spaces of God’s grace and glory, standing tall and shouting our praise.

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! 

Romans 5:1-5 (The Message)



 Wide Open Spaces 

I have heard the key turn

and the cell door unlock

Yet the prisoner remains within,

Ensnared by the familiarity of confinement,

Fearful of walking free.


I have seen the traveller

Linger in the gathering gloom of the valley

Long after light has dipped

Below the skyline,

Ignoring the glory of the sun

Resplendent on the hilltop above.


I have witnessed the bitterness of hatred,

The dreary grind of life-eroding resentment,

A diminishing of dreams, a withering of promise;

The call of mercy and forgiveness ignored.


Yet still you call us to the wide open spaces

Of grace and truth,

To the vast uncluttered landscape of liberty,

The regenerating brilliance of light,

Hope restored,

Dancing, unrestrained, in this place of overwhelming love.


Chris Matthews

Photography by Rachael Smith