June 1, 2012

Once Upon a Time: A Story About Grace

Once upon a time, there was a vibrant, young girl with big brown eyes, who was very curious.  She was a bit, or maybe a lot, mischievous and had a tendency to get into things.  Her father often said to her in anger and frustration when curiosity got the best of her, "Stop messing!  You're always messing!"  She wasn't quite sure what "messing" meant, but it felt like it meant she was always causing problems and making life hard and inconvenient for those around her.

One day, curiosity told her it would be fun to play a game, so she looked for one way up high on the top shelf of a closet where the games were stored.  Though she probably should have gotten a step stool to help her reach the shelf, she instead stood tall on her little tiptoes, reaching and reaching with her long, slender arms to find the game she wanted.  Unfortunately, in her clumsy efforts to do so, she bumped her mother's iron that was also stored on the shelf and the iron fell to the wood parquet floor and broke.


When her mother found out what she had done, she was more than furious.  She wasn't concerned that the iron could have fallen on her daughter and hurt her, nor was she happy and relieved that it had not fallen on the girl and she was unharmed.  What did concern her though was that the iron was broken and the girl would have to replace it.  She would pay for it.  In essence, she had been "messing" once again, and this time, she would learn her lesson.

Fast forward many, many years and that mess-making, vibrant, young girl is now a grown woman with a daughter of her own.  She is a delightful girl... beautiful and curious and creative and just like her mother, she also has a tendency to find herself in the middle of messes.  Things are often being forgotten or lost or broken.

And this is where grace and redemption enter the story...

Where a mother has the choice to turn her own wounds on their head, to stop the cycle of fear and control and respond freely and lavishly with the grace she didn't receive, but deserved when she was a girl.  She can change the tides.  She can right the wrong.  She can offer grace and love and forgiveness instead of anger, judgement and punishment.  All because of Jesus.  Because she has tasted his sweet redemption and come to know his boundless grace and extravagant love.  Because she has come to know him as her very life.

"Oh Jesus, may I be that mother.  Each and every day.  May your grace so consume and engulf me that it overflows in abundance to my beautiful, curious, innocent daughter who sometimes makes messes but is always worthy of grace.  And as that grace flows, may you use it to continually wash over my heart and heal the hurts of the young girl in me." 


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