Extending Grace

It is a weird thing to think about. I am feeling really let down by this person. I am hurt. I am angry. I feel embarrassed like she has made a fool out of me. I think she is giving up too easily; if only she pushed thru some of this fear...she could make it! But she doesn't. She lies and hides instead. I am frustrated trying to reach out to her to find only shadows of who she really is. I don't even want to try anymore. Let her live in the rotting garbage she has piled around her. Let her cover her wounds with filthy rags. What is it to me? I am doing ok. I am taking care of me. I am active in relationships and life. I am in connection with my God....or am I?

When I listened to this rambling going on in my brain I was immediately ashamed. God knows I have been in her shoes. It is painful and embarrassing to watch her hide and continue on the only path she thinks is really there. I have walked it and know how lonely it is. I know how biting the winds are and how blinding the sun. There is no shelter, no solace. Everything hurts but the monsters lurking want only to see that vulnerability. I have been there, and yet I would abandon her because I don't want to be there again???

What about God? I can't even fathom what Holy Perfection is. I just know human equivalents. Like, let's look at the popular girls in school. They were cute and smart enough and usually athletic, but they had this aura, this charisma that pulled the cool people right to them. I was never cool or popular. I was awkward and clumsy, somewhat geeky but definitely "different." The popular people did not include me. The popular kids didn't talk to me, invite me to sit at their lunch table or to their parties. I would tarnish their reputations with my oddness, my lack of popularity.

So God is Perfect. We are not. We are filthy little rats. We live in garbage. We eat garbage. We accept garbage because it has always been that way. We carry disease and do disgusting things-at least if you are looking from God's perspective. But He sees beyond all this. He sees who we were intended to be...His beloved. His sorrow caused Him to seek us. We would never have sought Him because we see the garbage only and know we are not worthy. But He still calls us to Himself...to cleanse us, to restore us, to heal us, to love us. By His grace, we are saved.

God extends His loving grace to me...just another loser...and I even entertain the idea of withholding grace from another??? If God can "put up" with us and even extend Himself to us, continuing to reach out to another shouldn't overextend me. It is not just an extension forward of God's love thru me, but a meager demonstration of my gratitude for God's graciousness to me.

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