When tragedy strikes and lessons are learned...not easily learned, but learned
You weep, weep for the loss of the old ways. Weep for the comfort of the familiar. Weep for this new world you find yourself in, not wanting to believe this is real.
You put on a big knit sweater, just to feel hugged, because you are alone, and you just can't be alone, not now. And until you let yourself feel hugged by Abba, this sweater just has to do.
You remind yourself to breathe. Something you took for granted, something so easy and thoughtless, you have to remind yourself to do.
My grief is personal and sacred. And it runs deep. Even now, when I can laugh, go about my day as usual...my heart has a deep, jagged fissure.
The greatest lessons are learned while one is in the grips of a pain so seemingly unbearable you wonder how you are not sweating blood as He did.
And this grace I have learned about.... This scandalous grace, given to prostitutes and rapists and murderers. Druggies and thieves. This grace encapsulates and extends to us all. A grace so freely given by a God who can see what happens behind closed doors. Who can hear the words secretly spoken, see the crimes committed in the darkness. And no one is outside of this grace. No one.
I have sinned somethin' fierce in my life. I have felt the seductiveness of that wayward life, have chased after it freely. I have hurt those closest to me, time and again. And I always came to realize I needed grace.
But you do not fully realize what that grace costs until you have to extend that same kind of grace to someone else.
Grace without strings.
Grace without conditions.
Grace. Giving something undeserved.
It hurts. It hurts so much.
But until we realize Christ was grace given to us while we were still in sin, that He did that for us, covered in the reality of how far we are from God, who we were created to love and be loved by.....we can't extend grace to someone else.
We can forgive and move on, but grace...oh, sweet, amazing grace.
Grace is entirely different.
It changes you.
It molds you in it's vise-like gentle grips.
It carves out the pride, the selfishness, the entitlement, the just plain ugly.
It fixes your eyes on Him. The One who did this for you, did this even more for you than what you could do for anyone else, no matter what they did to you, how they hurt you.
They sang that song, Amazing Grace, at my mom's funeral when I was 14. That was before I ever knew what grace was, what it meant for me, for the world. 11 years later
and I'm only just beginning to understand. Just barely.
Please respect my need and choice for confidentiality. It's not every day or blog post I choose that ;) I know it's vague, but the lesson about grace definitely is not
John Newton (1725-1807)
Stanza 6 anon.
Stanza 6 anon.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.
When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.