What does the grace of God Look like?

Posted by on Oct 4, 2011 in Pastor's Blog, Recent News | 0 comments

That was the question that he asked me while his nose bleed freely from the punch that he had just received. For the first time since we had started to help with feeding those of our friends that live on the outside, I had seen some one throw a punch. At first glance it looked as if his nose was broken. As it turned out, it just looked a whole lot worse because of the blisters that had broken on his sunburned nose. He wanted to know what the grace of God looked like in this situation. Something less than ideal life at that moment.

Angry and ready to go the two men stood toe to toe. The tight community around them waiting to see what was going to happen next. There were those ready to back him up and those saying not here, there are babies and little children around. I followed Denie as she started to walk over after we had seen what was going on.

The anger was righteous anger in the eyes of the one that had his nose busted wide open. He felt all he had done was reach for a water and wham he was seeing stars. Ready to rumble he called out the man who had hit him because he had reached for something he felt was his. Water is always one of the things there seems to be plenty of when Denie brings the food. So it was not for lack of water, but for a code that had been broken. What I have is mine and if you try and take it, there will be a penalty. Wham!

As I followed Denie’s lead she got between the two men as I watched for the next step. She talked to the man with the bleeding nose. She had distracted his anger with honest and loving concern. It did not go unnoticed in the crowd either as they pointed out the wiliness that we showed to help him to get cleaned up. He began to tell both of us how grateful he was for the food and for us giving it away so freely. A chance to ask him, to show how grateful, by keeping the peace and forgiving the man who had hit him was before him to choose.

When I said that he looked me straight in the eye and asked me if I knew what the grace of God was? I knew he was referring to how the other man had struck him just for reaching for water. I looked right back at him and told him I was seeing it before my eyes. That the mere fact he hadn’t already jumped back on his attacker was grace. That so many people where there to see how he was, was grace. And it that moment Denie steps in and tells him “Here let me help get you cleaned up.” I said “See and that my friend is the true grace of God, the loving care of another person in time of need.”

The anger subsided as Denie carefully engaged him while she cleaned his wounds and his hands. She apologized ahead in case she hurt his wounds. She tenderly and carefully cleaned each spot and then we washed his hands clean so he could eat with some bottled water. Later the same man took on the challenge to be the better man and turn the other cheek. The other man who had reacted so violently soon walked away, always ready for the battle to begin.

Emotions and feelings, when they run that strong, spread quickly in a community of friends, evermore so, when there is no connection at all. But God’s grace has an amazing power to calm the storm. Love, respect and tender care can cut through anger, hurt and pain so very quickly it often amazes me.

Yes I have seen the grace of God, in my life and in the giving hearts of others. In the ability to forgive, even when you can’t forget, and in other challenges presented before me on a regular basis. And I know I am talking of a human experience of a Godly gift, but after all that is what my mind can comprehend. For I cannot know what had to be done in the spirit to prevent more of an outburst, I just know that it was done. Rage was dismissed. Pride was let go of. Peace was there, if only for a little while. I know the enemy was disappointed by the results, but as Denie explained to the man with a damaged nose, I saw the peace of God come and win that battle for now. I saw one man decide to fight the good fight and find out it has it’s own measure of respect.

Ok you read my story, now take a moment and look deep inside. What is it you are still holding tight to? What is it that you need to forgive or let go of? Look and wait for a moment. Ask God for His grace to point it out. He will bring it to you if you ask you know. Now lay it down and let it go. Release the pain, the damaged pride, and the other things that get in the way between you and forgiveness. Why? Because there is something you are missing. I don’t know what it is, but God has so much more for you if you will just get all that other stuff out of the way. Let go and let Him take you to the next step in your journey. The time for being stuck is in the past. It is time to claim your present.

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