The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Exodus 34:6)
Grace is like the tree growing in the center of the house of Faith: often walked around, talked around, built around, but never examined very closely. This attribute of God holds us up; without it we would collapse. We use the word flippantly; it’s the coin of the kingdom. But what is grace? We see it’s astounding affect in the very possibility of relationship with God. But what is at the heart of grace itself? When I attempt to answer this question, a memory comes to mind.
The memory is of sneaking out of my bed as a four-year-old. Bedtime was a power game I played against my parents. I wielded the usual bag of tricks: the bathroom, a glass of water, sudden insomnia. Once these failed, and after my younger brother was asleep in the bunk below, I’d move with commando care to my door and crack it. If the hallway was clear, I’d hide behind the couch, listening to my parents talk. Sometimes I would hear my parents firm tread down the hall, and I’d fling myself back to bed – feigning innocent sleep. The thrill of the game was to not get caught, to get away with something without my parents knowing.
One summer night I stole out of bed, restless. I crept across the room and slowly cracked the door. I froze. My mother was standing with her hand on the door knob. I was caught! But she look down at me and said, “I was just coming to get you up!” She took my hand, and we went out in our pajamas in bare feet to our tiny front stoop. We ate raisins out of a bowl while the moon rose, and we pointed out the stars poking through the sky. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember the sliver of light under my door, the shadows in the hall and the cotton breeze of a summer night winding the shawl all of grace tightly around my mother in me. I could scarcely think for happiness.
My poignant memories of my mother simply wanting to spend time with me, her willfully disobedient little girl. In such a way, the grace of God comes to us as we stand – caught like a child – pushing the limits of His forbearance. He simply says, “Do you want to sit with me? I’ll show you beautiful things.”
As you were reading, did some area of willful rebellion come to mind? Tonight, sit on the steps of your porch, enjoying the grace of God‘s beauty and release whatever you’re holding back. Remember Genesis 3:8-10.
Father, I am tired of sneaking away, trying to get by with things. I want to be tucked in tightly to Your grace.