Thursday, July 16, 2009

what grace looks like, practically

Just over a year ago I had what would be classified as "mental break-down." I wigged out one morning and left town, telling no one and taking only the bare essentials. I drove over 1500 miles and wound up in Bozeman, MT. It was an excruciatingly painful time, not only because of why I left, but because of the wounds I had caused by leaving and abandoning so many people that I loved.

Even harder, though, was coming home. There were several times on the way back that I thought about disappearing again. It was only the hope of grace that kept me going, not just God's grace but people's grace.

I remember sitting in my truck in my parents driveway for about 30 minutes and then just standing in front of their door for a long time. The only reason I went in is because they saw me first. I nearly left from that spot. I'd never felt so terrible in my whole life.

But grace prevailed, not only in my family, but in my church. Who would have thought that people could forgive and welcome back someone who had done so much harm to them. It was then that I truly began to understand the meaning of Christian community.

There are many times that I have failed since then but always there is the grace given to sinners for one another. And so, grace extends through the lives of believers so that we can endure one another.

I hope that I display this grace. I hope that despite my demanding personality that people see that when they fail (personally or publicly) that I am not going to crack down on them for their sin, but welcome them graciously back.

What does grace look like practically? It looks like a pastor who was restored to his family, friends and church despite having failed them on a thousand levels.


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