Grace As We Know It
My parents and I were talking after dinner– the kids were all in bed, the chaos of the day tucked away with them, and we were enjoying full glasses of wine and each other. My mom mentioned a line she had read about God never blessing us beyond our current disobedience, and my dad and I were astounded. We said that that didn’t sound like the God we knew, and she agreed.
The three of us have each met God in different ways, but we were all there to witness when He took my disobedience and out-graced it beyond imagination. I was 19, in love and out of control; I knew His desires for me and I didn’t care because I was too busy chasing my own. And we saw it firsthand, how God did not withhold grace but lavished it. He took my sin and turned it into literal life– a baby boy, exquisitely beautiful, perfectly healthy, and brimming with intelligence. We knew that line to be untrue because we were there and we saw grace overflow.
Grace as we know it cannot be restrained by disobedience– it is too big and wild and free. And it terrifies me to think that there is teaching in the world that would say to anyone, “God cannot meet you here.” God’s grace isn’t just for people who are cleaned up and ready.
God’s grace is for the Thai women who shoot ping pong balls out of their vaginas for $6 a day, and it is for the white businessmen who screw them before they fly back to their air conditioned offices, and it is for the college girls who mock them while getting wasted on cheap rum. God’s grace is for the men desperately in love with other men, and it is for the voters who fight to keep them unmarried, and it is for the couples who destroy the sanctity of marriage with infidelity. God’s grace is for the murderers who kill 7-year-old girls on their way to school, and it is for the grief-stricken mothers addicted to pain pills that will never relieve real pain, and it is for the judges who repay death with penalty of death.
Grace as we know it is for the people who have read that last paragraph and caught a glimpse of themselves, and it is for the people who have read that last paragraph and found a person or two for whom they have no grace to extend, and it is for the people who have read that last paragraph and felt angry with me for nine different reasons. God is not limited by our limitations, and so His grace cannot be shackled by our failures, or defects, or disobedience. Grace as we know it can turn sin into life.