More Grace

Posted by on Oct 21, 2011 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

Everyone is so uptight these days!

Recently,  while on vacation, my husband and I got on a city bus.  It was one of those buses that has sensors which disallow the closing of the vehicle doors if someone is standing too close.  It happened to be the route to the airport and we were crowded in amongst people and suitcases.  After a stop to take on even more passengers,  the last few people did not make it inside the sensor line. In spite of the bus driver’s pleas to move away from the doors, these hapless individuals were confused (there may have been a language barrier)  and therefore,  slow to respond.  Unfortunately the bus was prohibited from moving until they did.

In actual fact,  the whole delay only lasted somewhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute but the tension in the bus rose abruptly and  dramatically as people impatiently began to shift and roll their eyes in exasperation.  A few started speaking out and one man began shouting to compel the obstructers to move.

Thankfully, my husband and I were in no particular hurry so I watched the drama unfold with a relative state of calm.  Don’t get me wrong,  under different circumstances I could easily have been the most impatient person on the bus, but in that particular  moment, it struck me that what is desperately needed in our world is more grace.  Grace for one another,  for weakness, for confusion, and for the failings of others.

The incident reflects our collective anxiety.  We are stressed out, overwhelmed and tired and therefore we cannot tolerate being inconvenienced.  There is no room for grace.  People who do not pull their weight are a great nuisance  and we are quick to condemn, judge and criticize and correct.  I have been known to say with exasperation, “What is WRONG with people?”  It means,  “When are they finally going to get it together? (shake head, tsk, tsk!)”  Essentially, it’s a judgmental stance.   It is the opposite of grace and it comes to us easily.

In reality, what is wrong with people is the same thing that is wrong with me.   I am an imperfect person desperately in need of God’s grace and mercy in my life.  I sincerely, live my life trying to glorify my Creator but it’s an imperfect process because I am imperfect.   Accomplishment and  failure  starts and stops,  successes and failures are all mixed together.  Sometimes I live out the fullness of God’s favor and other times  I fail desperately letting my neediness and woundedness get in the way…..and still He is there.     How overwhelming it is when I come to realize that God loves me unconditionally, no matter what my present state.  I am desperate for that kind of grace.  The rest of the world is as well.

What would it be like if we  displayed that grace to others more diligently?   If we woke up in the morning and said to ourselves, “Today I am so thankful for God’s grace upon me.  Out of gratefulness,  I will be an agent of  that grace in other people’s lives.”   It is the least we could do.  Maybe we would be slower to take offense, slower to judge, slower to dismiss and condemn.    Maybe we would be less uptight with each other.   We would be kinder and gentler.

We would recognize that people respond poorly out of many reasons, the least of which is to intentionally cause  inconvenience or pain.   Instead of being unyielding drill sergeants with unrealistic expectations on ourselves and everyone else, we would focus more on being agents of healing and deliverance.

God helps us to experience Your grace more fully.  Let it overwhelm us, break us, overcome us – to the point where the overflow spills out onto others.

It certainly would have made a difference on the bus that day.  The bus passengers  would have had more patience with the confused door-blockers and I would definitely  have had kinder thoughts about the man who shouted.

6 Comments

  1. Beautifully put, Gabriele! I get so bent out of shape with people, especially drivers on the road. I was yelling profusely,in my car, at a woman today who couldn’t drive. I was quick to judge and display road rage, and didn’t think about extending grace to the woman at all. Who knows what she could have been going through? Thank you for this reminder to extend more grace to people I come in contact with everyday.

  2. Gabriele such a good thing about grace. I love your blog!

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