This Grace and That Grace

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This Grace and That Grace

  My Christmas decorations are displayed.  My Christmas cards are delivered.  My Christmas shopping is not done.  It gets harder and harder to find the perfect gift for my teenage boys.  I am wracking my brain.  But, I’m distracted.  Because thinking of the perfect gift for them means thinking of them.  And thinking of them makes my head swirl with everything they are, and soon I’m just lost in that tender reverie of my children that I love to sink into.   It’s not long before my heart settles on my oldest.  He made a mistake recently.  Well, actually he makes lots of mistakes.  He’s young.  He’s human. This particular one, though, has some decent-sized consequences. And, he knows that while we cannot, and often will not, protect him from the consequences of his actions, that we will always walk through them with him and see him to the other side.  But he doesn’t yet have the long-distance lens of age and wisdom that he needs to see beyond what is directly in front of him sometimes.    In the grand scheme of things, from my perspective with so much more life behind me, it’s all good.  It will all be ok.  Still, he’s having a hard time forgiving himself.   Hearing him express this cuts like a knife.  How could this have happened?  Where did we go wrong that a child in this home where Christ is front and center, first and last, where grace is literally written on our walls – that this child in this home would not understand forgiveness?   Well, I think that sometimes kids like him, the ones who grow up in homes like ours – these kids have just a smidgen of a handicap.  You see, these kids, they speak the lingo.  They know the behaviors.  They’ve heard the stories.  And the Enemy wants nothing more than to resign them to a superficial faith that misses the mark of who our God is and how deep His love is.   Because if you asked him, my son could tell you what grace is defined as.  He knows that it is grace alone that has saved him from an eternity separated from God.  But, even knowing this grace, it is quite possible for him to always feel a little bit empty and a little bit distant from his Savior.  He knows grace on the pages of Scripture and on the tongues of his parents and his pastors.  But he doesn’t quite yet know grace in his own skin.  You know, the grace that overpowers you with its magnitude and drops you to your knees in awe and sweet humility and that you can physically feel filling you up.  That grace.   That grace will help him forgive himself.  And forgive others.   And reach a level of intimacy with Christ that he was made to have and to feel.  And finally understand that ironically it is only his very brokenness that allows him to get there.   That grace will help him learn to see his brokenness as a testament to his belovedness.   So, I know what I would like to wrap up for him this Christmas, a time when we celebrate that Grace was born in a stable and lived among us.  I would like to hand him a box of grace-in-his-own-skin, neatly tied with a pretty bow. To spare him any more precious time not knowing it.   But, I can’t.  It’s his journey and his testimony that God is writing.  And His stories don’t need any meddling editors.   Instead, I will keep speaking the lingo and keep showing him how someone who gets grace in her own skin behaves.  And, I will keep telling him the stories.  Of David. Of Peter. Of his dad. Great men of God whose brokenness was used mightily in God’s great story.  And, in doing so I will say to the prowling Enemy that he may not oppress my son.  My son is destined to be a great, broken, beloved man of God who will be used mightily in God’s great story.   Because he will one day feel that grace.  In his own skin.  And though I will not be able to claim credit for this gift, I will be there to put a bow on it.    

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