Grace, Grief, Peace, Words of Endurance
EXCERPT FROM MENDED: OUT OF THE RAG PILE, BACK ON THE HANGER
BY DEBBIE WOODS (PUBLISHED BY HIGHERLIFE PUBLISHING)
Always be humble and gentle.
Be patient with each other,
making allowance for each other’s faults
because of your love.
EPHESIANS 4:2 (NLT)
“They are all idiots and they are all aimed at you!” (Words of wisdom from my father as he taught me to drive.) “Look out – expect the unexpected from the fools around you.” They are all idiots and all aimed at you became a life motto for me – at the mall, at the grocery store, at the theater, in the school car pool pickup lane, in the church parking lot. I saw a piece of unframed art in an interior design store – an adorable 1950’s child with a hair bow, a rose in her hand and a blank stare. Next to her is the dictionary definition of “idiot”: mentally defective, imbecile, moron, fool, witling. Below, in large graphic print, is the caption “Most of the people around me on any given day.” Can I get an Amen?
BUT then I met THE Father and Amy Grant was singing of “My Father’s Eyes.” And Jesus saw me as a child who had not been loved enough. And Jesus looked beyond my faults and saw my needs. And Jesus had compassion on me – helpless and harassed like a sheep without a shepherd. And I was awed that Jesus walked among the crowds and masses of people, the idiots, fools, and morons, with love and without irritation. And I was humbled by grace.
And THE Father gave me grace -colored glasses to see others as my companions in woundedness. And THE Father instructed me to accept life and people with humility and patience, making allowances for them. And THE Father filled me with His Spirit and the fruit of love, peace, patience and gentleness.
I now wear prescription bifocal sunglasses to drive. This requires me to remove my grace-colored glasses. Now when I’m in traffic with my father’s voice in my head again – “They are all idiots, and they are all aimed at you!” Heaven help me! I know, Daddy, I know. Should I honk or just run them off the road to teach them a lesson? Maybe they are just normal people in their normal confusion on a normal day, like me. Maybe I should make peace with flawed humanity. Maybe I should make allowances for them, as Jesus does for me. Maybe they, too, are slashed and shredded, in need of mending. Can I get an Amen?
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves,
You must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy,
Kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Make allowance for each other’s faults,
And forgive anyone who offends you.
COLOSSIANS 3:12-13 (NLT)
ON THE JOURNEY WITH YOU,