I do not at all understand the mystery of grace -- only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
- Anne Lamott, from her book Traveling Mercies
I have been thinking a lot about grace and forgiveness today. I have been reading Jesus Freak by Sara Miles. In the section on forgiveness , she tells how during one sermon her friend the priest asked the congregation is God just or merciful. He said God isn’t just, God is full of mercy (p. 109). Justice requires a right and a wrong. If we get hung up on seeking justice when we have been wronged, we have a hard time giving and receiving forgiveness. We believe one side is right and that the other side has to give in and give up. Mercy and grace let you move into the messy part of life where it doesn’t matter who is right. There is truth to be found in everyone’s perspective and actions. Grace is that unconditional love that you have received from God and there is nothing you can do that will take it away. But mercy and grace are hard.
We all find ourselves in times when we don’t want to forgive or forget. We want to hold on to our righteous indignation, yet being stuck there keeps the world ugly and messy. Even in a time of pain and hurt there was something beautiful. “What once was hurt / What once was friction / What left a mark / No longer stings / Because Grace makes beauty / Out of ugly things / Grace makes beauty out of ugly things” as Bono sings.
The 80 year old couple who came to the family party and made us laugh
The woman who bought shoes and sweats for a man no one comes to see
Chocolate and laughter when sharing about life and God
“Grace, … It's also a thought that changed the world … Grace finds goodness in everything” U2
You shall be forgiven everything! Accept God’s love and then give it away!