You know it really shouldn’t astound me but it still does. After all of these years I am given new glimpses and I am glad to say a more accurate view of God’s grace everyday… It is so easy to use the word Grace in the Christian world. I realize now that if the true meaning of Grace was unleashed in the church or more to the point in MY life…well there is just no words… So here is the thing…This writer, Preston Sprinkle writes this, “Grace is the most dangerous, expectation-wrecking, smile-creating counter-intuitive reality there is.”That sentence grabbed at my gut. He went on to say the Grace of God ” has no leash.”
God’s grace is untamed. It is wild and free! “Divine Grace is God’s relentless loving pursuit of His enemies, who are unthankful, unworthy, and unlovable.” Grace is a gift for the person in the gutter, the outcast, the unattractive, and yes even a church full of self-righteous misguided believers (praise God he love self-righteous people too!!!) “ “Jesus gutted the religious leaders of his day by showing Grace to whores, lepers, and the dregs of society yet he extended that same Grace to the Pharisees who sought him out!” Isn’t this rich? I can’t make God love me. I do not have to perform because “God loves me because of WHO he is and because of WHAT Christ has DONE!!! Oh how the Truth can set you free from all of your pious judging of others, at least it does for me. I am glad his mercies are new every morning. Jesus loves sinners…even the very tidy looking ones.
A child is not aware of her dependence on another. She simply trust that it will be done and gives her praise to God in unsolicited ways. Like the sunflower she moves through her day always facing the sun.
She praises God with belly laughs and silly songs never doubting that he will not be delighted with her. She praises by folding her little hands to pray. She praises by dancing for all the world to see. She praises by clapping for herself when she accomplishes a task. She praises with her tears when she is hurt and loving arms reach for her. She praises when she jumps into her daddy’s arms trusting that he will always catch her. She praises when she hangs on to her Mommy’s hand when she is unsure of what is occurring.
She is unencumbered of what things cost or ashamed of anything because she Trusts The Holy One who has shown himself to her in the rainbow and in the leaves and in the pretty rocks she picks up all along her walks with her Mama.
Like Einstein, I
believe imagination just might be more important than knowledge. I am actually
sure of it…
“In all honesty I find myself to be a bit of a “lapser”, the old lady said to me as we sat on the park bench. She laughed a hearty belly laugh and continued, “I lapse into doubt that I will make it to tomorrow and then I lapse into desperate hope that I will! See that vivid color blue of the sky today? I thought it was a question but she went right on talking… that is the color of the sky when there are no doubts and everything is crystal clear to me. That is what I call God’s blue. I know without a doubt how to live a life of purpose and kindness. Oh how I love God’s blue!”
My heart was warmed by the assurance that I had just happened to sit down on a park bench next to the right person. “I have lapses too I said, lapses in “How” to live well, I commented. The old woman did not laugh at me but sat there pensive. I figured at that point she would cast me away as crazy and take quick leave of our bench. She did not leave however and it wasn’t until years later I realized she could not leave because she knew me. She was at the end of her pilgrimage and she knew she was sent to that bench just for me. I now want to sit on the bench in the park for other pilgrims if I get the chance.
She began to speak of
many things, deep things, funny things, horrible things and I listened hard.
She shared how when Day’s sky was a gray-blue those were the days when she knew
God was covering her with his Almighty protective wing. She said when there
were many obstacles like clouds and winds in the sky that she realized the
passing of time and the briskly moving clouds were a reminder every minute is a
treasure. Then she said the colors of a Sunset sky were evidence of God’s love
of relationships where all colors are mingled together to show His brilliance
and to remind us that each of us is a different and known color to Him. These
analogies went on for hours and I cannot do her wisdom justice with mere words.
She painted with words like a Master.
The night sky she
said is not to be feared because it is ordained to us for the purpose of rest,
health, growth, and tears. The moon she said is a reminder that even though the
“lesser” light rules the night it is no less light. The “dark” is the constant
reminder that God does not slumber when we do. She said the moonless, dark sky
is the hardest one because you have to believe in the light even when you
cannot see it.
As the sun began to set all the colors of creation appeared and the old lady and I sat in silence in God’s Cathedral and worshipped Him, the Creator and all of his magnificent skies. As we parted the old lady took my hand and she put it to her soft crepe paper cheek. She said, “the next time you “Lapse” into a “how to do life well” simply look up and God’s blue will guide you and give you all the answer you need.
So I am sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for a late flight, due to bad weather and a plane pulls up…everyone gradually looks around, they get up and walk to the observation window…low and behold a military escort marches out into the rainy, ice cold apron and then off the plane comes a casket and a family…all of us in the window stand reverently and then a young man in uniform salutes…some people put their hand over their heart as it dawns on each of us what we are witnessing..some begin to shed tears…this person who has served their country is coming home…there are no news cameras, no horns blowing…we don’t know their name or their family but all of us mourn…all of us are relieved it isn’t our son or daughter, brother, sister, mom, or dad…all of us wish the story would be different…a somber blanket lay over this small band of witnesses to something so private yet so universal…I bow my head and pray for the family…pray for my family who lives in freedom…pray for my country that she might be healed…as the casket is loaded into the hearse the crowd begins to spread out and I hear a little three year old girl say, “Daddy, can we get some candy now?”…the Dad picks her up and hugs her close…he cannot speak…I walk away and ask God to forgive me for complaining earlier about the weather…