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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson

Hell on Earth. And Heaven.

Photo by Juan Pablo Rodriguez on Unsplash

Last evening, at the end of a very full day, in the final hours before bedtime, Kyle and I watched a movie with friends. It was a movie about hell.

SOUND OF FREEDOM is based on the true story of former government agent Tim Ballard who quit his job to rescue a little girl from sex traffickers in the Colombian jungle. In the process, Tim ended up saving 123 people, 55 of which were children, from one mission alone.

If you are reading this post while the movie is still showing, I would encourage you to see it. In the words of its main actor, Jim Caviezel, we battle this evil by telling the story. And this is a story that needs to be told.

There is hell in this world.

This thought repeated in my mind as I watched the movie. And later, waking briefly from my sleep, I was compelled to pray. Something. Anything. For the millions of slaves in our world today. There in the dark of nighttime and thoughts, all I could manage was one desperate prayer:

Come Jesus. Come.

I woke this morning exhausted. Poured myself a cup of coffee, grabbed my Bible, and joined my husband and dog on our east-facing porch. Kyle had been up for hours. So much evil. He was feeling it, too. Too close to home for one thing. Bogota. Cartagena. Colombian cities, all too familiar to our sons, our family. Two of our own are Colombian born. Vulnerable children. Oh God, oh God. It could have been them.

For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15)

Yes. Adoption. The way out of slavery. But OH MY GOD. What about the MILLIONS?

Weary. Heavy-hearted. I open my Bible. Bookmarked for today, I read first from Psalm 64:

God, hear my voice when I am in anguish.

Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.

Hide me from the scheming of wicked people,

from the mob of evildoers…(vv. 1-2)

Hear my anguish. God protect THEM.

Next bookmark. Daniel, chapter seven. Four beasts. The Ancient of Day. The Son of Man.

And suddenly one like a son of man

was coming with the clouds of heaven.

He approached the Ancient of Days

and was escorted before him.

He was given dominion

and glory and a kingdom,

so that those of every people,

nation, and language

should serve him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

that will not pass away,

and his kingdom is one

that will not be destroyed (vv. 13-14).

His kingdom is here.


When the Son of Man ascended back to the heavens (Luke 24:50-51)…He established his kingdom


Really? Heaven is here?

I sit on my porch on a most gorgeous morning, sun rising, muddled thoughts. Heaviest heart. Is it heaven or hell? Here?

And just then I remember a text message. A link sent earlier this week from my oldest son.

Have you seen this one, Mom?

It was July 4th. The day our country celebrates freedom. Grant had been telling me about this video from our shared favorite teacher, Tim Mackie of the BibleProject. About Heaven and Earth. And Hell.

And so I watch it. Head filled with images from a movie, and there’s Mackie talking about sex trafficking and slavery…his example of hell on earth. And he sketches an illustration of heaven and earth coming together, and how Jesus gets the hell out of our earth.

I’m stunned. And hopeful. Grateful.

Our Father in heaven… Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9 & 10

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