Grace – what a word. Its my daughters middle name. Its the name that I see pop up constantly with friends kids, and in movies (Christmas Vacation anyone?)
We were faced with a situation on Sunday of someone who is hell bent on making Jake’s life a nightmare right now. We never know when this person will pop-up, but they do pretty often – and we deal with it and move on as best we can. I hate conflict, but I’m also a born and raised Southern woman. I get sassy, and say all the things I’d love to say to said person – but never actually will. Usually, its because I’m trying to make a joke to get Jake to calm down or laugh. Like “oh bless their little heart, they are delusional” or “are they serious right now with that?”
After a sermon that morning, that touched on showing grace to others, I stopped to think about how my actions in this situation can change for the better. My favorite article I have ever seen is about how to show grace to others was written by David Peach, a missionary in Mexico who primarily works with the deaf population. He wrote:
While I can’t offer salvation to another person, I can be kind and gracious to them. Showing grace to others is a matter of dealing kindly with them, even if they don’t deserve it.
Oh yes, showing kindness and graciousness. We dealt with the stuff in the morning, and went to church. We sang, and my soul was revived with the healing music that our worship team performs. We ate lunch with friends, went shopping, we did laundry, helped a friend move some furniture, and came home to make dinner. All of which are normal routine things for us; and we thought maybe, just maybe it was over for the day. Well, that’s what I get for thinking, because it all started again. In my mind, I wanted to be sassy and angry. This person is making the love of my life miserable, and is hell bent on causing strife and conflict. This person absolutely does not deserve my kindness, or my grace.
This time I chose instead to show this person grace. I quietly let Jake deal with it, while I stood at the stove and prayed for this person. God please put your hands on this person, and help them to remain calm to resolve this situation quickly and easily. Its been dragged out long enough. Grace Wins. What an unhappy person they must be right now, to want to cause all these problems. Lord, please shine a light in their life that they can see the pain they cause, and want to not continue on this path. Please help us to show this person grace, even when we don’t want to.
I prayed more, please just let us get through the next few days without this mess, we have too much going on this week. Grace Wins. I slipped my earbuds in my ears to prevent me from hearing the sounds of the phone going off in the chimes of rapid fire texts. I prayed more. I felt so at peace in that moment that I was juggling dinner dishes, and praying. Grace Wins.
I cannot do a single thing to make this situation go away right now. I can try my best to make it better for Jake to bear, and for him to know he doesn’t have to bear it alone. I can encourage him to respond with grace, without anger or sharp words. Even when they absolutely do not deserve it, they do. A tough lesson, a hard thing to put into practice. It is so easy to respond with immediate sass or harshness. Take a moment, breathe in and respond with grace. Everyone deserves the grace of others, because we were given the ultimate gift of grace from Jesus himself.
And in time, this situation will be finished, and we won’t have to deal with it any more. We will look back and smile because we survived this, and we thrived despite it. And in the end…