Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where is the Grace?

Posted by Hannah at 1:58 PM

When I was a little girl I was scared most of the time.  I never felt good enough, and felt judged most of the time.  I knew very well how much the world could hurt me, and always felt this conditional love.  I remember as a small girl walking to a nearby park to play tennis with my brand new racket with Billie Jean King’s signature on it that I had got my birthday.  I had my normal tomboy outfit on, and a pigtail tying up my hair.  I remember stopping to cross a street, and men in a car honking and making comments that were very threatening.  At that age?  I was hardly some sex pot let me tell you!

What is strange to me is I realized what the first question would be out of someone’s mouth if I had mentioned it!  They would ask me if I was dressed with modesty.  They would ask me how much I gave to the world, and if I relied on God enough due to my fear and sense of conditional love.

Why are Christian’s so stingy with grace?

I never mentioned these things to much as child, because I recognized the questions that would follow it up.  What did you do wrong to make you feel this way?

Its strange how I still sense that a lot of time with Christian circles, and to me it should not be!  I wonder if they stop to think about how these questions don’t make people feel welcome, and don’t allow them to feel safe to share things that happen in their lifes.

Recently, I was reading a story about a woman that was truly struggling with her marriage.  The couple it sounds like were fairly new to the faith, although had been saved a couple of years.  She was lost because her husband was an alcoholic who had started to drink again.  It sounds like he – as many that have issues with booze – wasn’t the nicest person to be around when he was drinking.  It had been years since he stopped, and she reached out to the church to ask for help for him.  She recognized that he needed help from the fellowship, and truly didn’t wish him to damage is life once again with alcohol.

The churches response was they would help once he came out of denial.  They couldn’t do anything for the family unless he was ready to see things as they were.  I guess they never stopped to think that maybe this woman was asking them to help him in that area.  You do realize that when you living with an addict.

There were a number of frustrating responses she received when she was questioning whether Christianity was the right path for her life.  I recognized she was saying this out of frustration of the situation.  I mean she did reach out as she was told she should, and look what was offered to her and her family!

You know what most of the responses were?

How is leaving the faith going to remotely help you in this circumstance?

How is that for a grace filled response?  They went RIGHT for criticism after she already received nothing from her church.

I seriously have to wonder if we as the faith follower’s true issue at times is NOT recognizing grace-giving opportunities?  These people didn’t even see the devastation of her life, and handed her more devastation of death words.  It seems like you must word things in a certain way, because Christians can’t seem to find ways to extend grace unless the opportunity present itself properly.

This group of people showed this woman that grace is conditional upon your presentation.  They were insulted about her comment about leaving the faith MORE than anything.

Is it any wonder WHY the world thinks we are such a joke?

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