i go through these periods where i become sort of stuck on one idea or concept. what does that really mean? what does that look like when done right? right now, it's the idea of what grace really is: especially in relation to who God is, and how He offers grace to all of us.
so i've been reading, and just reminding myself over and over all day, for me, for abigail, for jason, for the strangers who say things to me that make me want to lose my mind: grace. grace.
i don't believe that grace means that disobedience gets a free pass. instead, i think that when my big gets in trouble, and has to sit out playing with friends, i can hold her and tell her i'm sad, too, that she doesn't get to play.
and grace doesn't mean that when i lose my temper with abigail i don't need to try to reconcile with her. i need to apologize. and then i need to forgive myself and move on. because dwelling on my mistakes is not grace.
in reading lots of verses on grace the one that stuck out to me is 'when sin increased, grace increased all the more' (Romans 5:20). i've been thinking through this and what it means. and i quickly looked around at the church body i belong to, and felt it.
i love my church. it is full of a very diverse group of people sunday morning. black and white. young and old. recovering addicts, people with histories of felonies, middle class, upper class, and the not so middle or upper class. but, the thing i love the most, is that every person there seems to outwardly live their own mess. i'm not talking about walking around bragging about the things we do that we shouldn't. i'm talking about people who know each others struggles. people who are honest and say, 'i've started drinking again, and got pulled over for a dui. i need some prayer. some love. some help.'
but, the biggest, and greatest thing about our church is that with every ounce of my being, i can feel the grace. i think the 'sin abounding' thing isn't meant to be taken as increasing your sin. i think, as i look around, the places where grace abounds more, are those places that are full of real people. honest about sin. spilling it out abundantly.
and when i am in a place where grace abounds, it is like a fog that rolls in and out, around and through, taking with it the sin part and leaving behind only the grace. the sun shining down burning off the sin making grace glitter and illuminate on each person-like the dew that's left on the grass after a fog.
i just have to take my shoes off and walk around on it. to feel it. i have to bend down and look closely at the way the light reflects off of each drop. and i have to try to take pictures of it, zoomed way in, as to show every detail. to know, for myself, that the beauty i'm experiencing is real. is there anything, so marvelous, so remarkable as grace.
as i've searched, and searched, i've read through story after story that tries hard to explain grace. but, alas, they do it know justice. because the moment i think i might know it, something bigger and more beautiful takes place. and i have to continue to search, and pursue. hoping my journey leaves those around me being touched by the overflow of grace i'm discovering.
for from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:16