Within the last three weeks, I have committed to walking an hour every morning and yet today is the third time I have taken that walk for a plethora of reasons.
I had caught just two hours of sleep before my 6:15am alarm went off and I was displeased to say the least. I rolled over and dismissed the alarm to catch a bit more snooze and it seemed like I had just rolled over and it was now 7:02am.
I tiredly opened my eyes, tapped my husband to remind him we had to walk and then I went out to see what the weather was like. I can’t say a little part of me was not excited when I saw that it was drizzling as it would make for a good reason not to walk today. But I had to remind myself that I committed to the walk this week and so off we went.
An hour thirty minutes later, I am home now from the walk, waiting on my breakfast to be ready and the rain outside has put me into a thinking mood. What am I thinking of today?
Grace! Amazing Grace!
We are not strangers to the line that accompanies most sealed products; “Do not use if seal is broken”. Why? because someone could have tampered with it or perhaps it was never sealed properly and it has now been contaminated.
Surely, I am not saying to extend grace to those products but as humans, we tend to apply the same mindset to our relationships with people.
Thinking about it though, which one of us isn’t broken? Broken by pain, hurt, shame, betrayal, feelings of unworthiness, low self esteem and so much more? In fact, it almost seems like the same things that broke us are the same reasons we put up walls and refuse to associate with people bearing the same brokenness.
I don’t expect anyone to take on the burden of everyone’s pain but we can extend grace.
As a single lady, I remember writing a list for what I wanted in my husband and I know many of us have lists for various things. Sometimes, it is a list for what we want in a friend, a house, an employee or a church and we are so committed to the list that grace becomes foreign.
No one could ever extend grace as Christ does. We could not even fathom God’s grace. Dying for people who didn’t even check one box on his list? Dying for people who spat on and abused him?
We put up walls because someone told us that someone hurt them in the bid to ‘protect our peace’ or ‘protect our space’. But what we are really doing is making ourselves judge, jury and executioner. I am worthy and you are not.
Actually, the world encourages us to be ‘wise’ and avoid broken people. We chant things like ‘hurt people hurt people’ that justify the behaviour. Many times, people are broken through no fault of their own and the least we can do is point them to Christ who heals rather than avoid them.
Imagine if Christ only mingled with us when we were whole enough and good enough for his love. The same people who ask you to avoid broken people would have been the same people criticizing Jesus for dining in Zacchaeus’ house
God has loved us so perfectly even in our deepest brokenness. You know what? He tells us in Psalms 51:17 that he will not despise a broken and a contrite heart.
Even more exciting, he encourages us to bring our burdens and cast them on him in exchange for rest in Matthew 11:28.
We could never extend the same grace that Christ gives but we can emulate him as he encourages us to.
So, the next time you prioritize a list over love, remember that Christ loved you without requirements. Remember too, that people are not products and many of us are imperfect with broken seals.
It is okay to have lists but they should be motivated by love (for Christ and people) and not pride.
Heart to Heart: I’ll love to hear your thoughts. Have you been critical of brokenness?