Saturday, September 10, 2005

Grace in a Jolt

Open your eyes. Look at what is going on around you. Think about the fact that while it could always be worse, you have never been in a better place to see that it could always get better too. Stop. Remember when. Those were the days. But were they really? Would you really want to go back? You have learned so much. They smiled at you. Keep going. It's a new dawn, it's a new day. He laughed with you. It could always be worse. She sent you a card. But it's not. They prayed for you last Sunday. Why does it have to hurt this much? He listened when no one else would. It has been such a very long road. I never knew she cared so much. What is the point? A kind word. Where is the pleasure? An honest answer. Who really knows what I am going through? A simple deed. What next? A touch of mercy. Where are the people I need most? A small grace. How much longer? A leap of faith...

Often great calamity brings a whole new perspective of life to the church. At least it should. The deeds that should be carried out as a consistent outpouring of the truth of Christian faith are jolted into action and awakened to the realization of need. We finally stop to listen, to see, and, if the former are allowed to reach our inmost being, to comprehend a hurt and a hunger out side our finely padded lives. Why can't we hear the questions all the time? Why can't we respond with a kind word and an outstretched hand when it is less convenient for us? Why wait until we have no choice but to stare woe in the the face and fall back on the same grace that heals hearts and others? That is grace--when we are left with nothing but. That is mercy--when we are driven towards it in time of need and left with a gaping void when the time is over. With every trial more is learned. Remembrance and forgetfulness in how to extend the gospel of grace to others need not be a vicious cycle. We will forget, we will be stirred, we will remember. But hope lies in that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Grace depends not on our deeds but on the finished sacrifice of the Creator of all things. It is in His Image and as His people that we work out our salvation with fear and trembling--if we will only have ears to hear and eyes to see.

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