in pursuit of critical and compassionate living and thought. in surrender to courage & delight of Christ.
An imperfect apology.
A skewed idea of what we did wrong.
Forgetting what they did right.
A little too long in making amends.
Acceptance a little too late.
Faltering on the “forever” part of forgiveness.
Getting a little too close to 77×7…
This is grace with gaps.
Its imperfect. But so are we. Grace with gaps is holy even with its holes.
It can be hard to remember that. Grace as we pass it around down here is like a bridge with a whole lotta cracks. Cracks made by loss of trust, misunderstandings, lack of information, lack of closure, lack of forgiveness, loss of regard, old scars and new sears, confusion, shame, and steady erosion by pride. But imperfect grace is still grace. Grace is choosing to walk across that bridge – no matter how slowly or steadily.
We must always strive for perfect grace. But we can never let our high-expectations for it block our acceptance or even gift of grace with all its remaining gaps*. Sometimes we give grace conditionally on the expectation that it must first be merited. Sometimes we withhold grace because we know we ourselves don’t have everything right on our side yet. Sometimes we think we can give grace but keep the grudge. Sometimes we wallow and withhold from others the gift of receiving grace. Sometimes we think we or everyone needs to understand everything perfectly right, with complete information, and this can somehow turn into complete change of hearts, and then grace will be natural and timely. Sometimes we get caught up in how much grace we give, and how much we take, and what’s the balance of whatever we think we each deserve. What is important is that we give grace swiftly, and we let it grow. Grace grows when you give it away. We take that step forward, across, and we let the strength of holding the other person’s hand shape our hearts in confidence and hope. With grace, we lean in, we look forward.
It is a funny thing that we must have grace for grace!
Grace will never be perfect. Not for the giver, not for the receiver.
Its the perfect grace of a Holy, Perfect, Loving God that allows us to give and take grace at all. Our pride gets in the way of either.
Its not how perfect our grace is that makes it good enough to give. Its the peace that comes from knowing the perfect grace of God to us that allows us to give and take grace even in its imperfection. God’s grace fills in the gaps. Knowing we are fully known, and fully loved, and accepted is what allows us the humility and freedom to give and take – to share – in the goodness of imperfect grace. It is how grace that’s “good enough” can nonetheless be filled with complete peace, and bring full restoration.
Our grace with gaps is passed around in the palms of a Good, Gracious God.
May his grace be ours to give for his glory.
“Freely you have received, freely give,” Matthew 10:8.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.
“My grace is sufficient for you,” 2 Corinthians 12:9
* Note: Lavish grace and wise boundaries are not mutually exclusive!