I have so many thoughts, so many tangents on those so many thoughts and so many rabbit trails after that. Wheeeeep.
Grace. Grace. Grace. This has been huge in my head this past week. You know that song, “grace, grace, god’s grace. grace that is greater than all our sin.” That one. It has been stuck in my head this week. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling very led towards the idea of grace. Grace. Not the prayer before a meal and not the idea of being graceful. The dictionary has a billion meanings for the word. The grace I’m thinking of is the grace of redemption. The grace that is given when you don’t deserve something. The grace that is not earned.
Last week, a teenage girl was murdered in Surrey. Yes, people are murdered and die everyday but I don’t live in a reality where those truly cause me concern. However, something was different about this one. It was the police car and police tape hanging out right my bus stop reminding me that she was murdered within walking distance of my house that truly freaked me out. Fabulous, I love being afraid of murders on the bus.
Obviously, I’m not pro-murderer. For goodness sakes, I was too scared to take the bus on Thursday and Friday and had Ben drive me to work! I was afraid of a monster. But then, someone was arrested and charged. And today when they released his record, I was reminded of grace. It says he was bounced from foster home to foster home, has a criminal record dating back to childhood and never felt loved or valued. Maybe, just maybe, if someone showed him just an once of grace, spoke to him with joy, gave him some love he didn’t have to earn, MAYBE, a seventeen year old would still be alive.
Can you imagine what this world would be like if we just loved the people? 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.” Love each other deeply, that’s a challenge, really. I notice we are all for “fairness”. We think people should love us back, love should be earned. I think fairness has become a cover for “I want it my way and don’t want you to have it your way”. When did we become so narcissistic? Grace is different. It’s not for us and It has to flow freely, Romans 11:6 says, “but if it is by grace, it is no longer the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.” Grace isn’t something you do because you have to.
In preschool and daycare I often notice a lack of joy in both the children and staff, myself included. What is joyful about telling someone for the upteenth time to ‘stop running!’ or ‘don’t do that’ or to do something that ultimately, doesn’t really matter. Do you care if there are still 2 blocks left on the floor after they cleaned up? Well, maybe but that’s not the point. The point is, when do we stop and think about what we are doing. What does a child learn when their efforts are not acknowledged, only their mistakes? If they have tried so hard to remember to walk inside but we become frustrated the one time they forget, what does that teach them? Or when they spent 10 minutes cleaning up the blocks only to miss a few, why didn’t we help them? Where is the grace?
Grace. Murders don’t deserve it. I can’t earn it. Children need it. How do I live in a way that reflects grace? Personally, I wish we could all move to the mountains and leave the city behind. Leave the rush, leave the race. That way, maybe we’d remember what it’s all about. Grace. Let us live in the grace that we have been given in all circumstances.