Putting Your Foot in it!

oOPSI committed a huge social faux pas yesterday. I was at school picking up my daughter and started talking to a mum. Then another mum walked up to join the conversation. A couple of weeks ago I was told by a third-party that this mum was pregnant so in the interest of social courtesy I enquired ‘how is your pregnancy going?” She answered ‘I am so sick of people asking me that! I am not pregnant, in fact I have recently lost weight. I am so offended’. I said ‘I am so sorry, another mum told me that you were. You don’t look like you are but you could be carrying small. A lady I work closely with is 35 weeks and she barely looks pregnant”. She replied ‘Keep digging’. My final reply was ‘I’ve never made this mistake before and I feel awful right now. I am so sorry.’ The two mums then just drifted away from me as our kids let out of school. I went home feeling sick about what happened.

Also just recently we had a neighbourly predicament. We arrived home from visiting friends about 12.30 am and by the time we wound down and got to bed it was almost 1 am. All was quiet. Then at 4 am I was woken up by very loud doof, doof music. I got my dressing gown on and marched downstairs and outside looking for the source. My husband yelled softly down the stairs after me ‘Don’t confront anyone Catherine’. I went out the front door and soon discovered that my new neighbours were the source of the doof. We live in a small block of four units. This particular unit shares a side wall with us. Forgetting my husband’s advice I knocked loudly on the door. After talking to a wonderfully polite drunk man I returned to my own unit. By the time I reached my bed the music was completely off and not another sound was heard. A couple of days later I ran into one of the female tenants and she apologised for the loud music. I replied ‘that’s ok’ and I meant it. She answered ‘no it’s not’. I didn’t know what to say to that. I ended up saying no, it really is ok, you guys turned the music off immediately and that was what I wanted.

John and I have just returned from the a trip to Sydney where we stayed with my mother-in-law and her husband. While in the shower I gently adjusted the nozzle. It proceeded to break off in my hands. I dreaded ‘fessing up’ but drew the courage to do. My in-laws were beautiful and gracious about it, even though it will be a hassle for them to live with while it is repaired. I gratefully received the grace offered.

While these three situations are different they point to a social courtesy that is not talked about. It’s a little thing called ‘grace’. In the first situation I needed some grace and in the second situation I gave some grace but they didn’t receive it and in the third situation grace was given and received. In bible college one of my teachers defined grace as something you give someone or receive from someone that you don’t deserve. Without grace our relationships would become a score keeping event.

In the book ‘What’s so Amazing about Grace’, Philip Yancey recounts this story about C. S. Lewis: During a British conference on comparative religions, experts from around the world debated what, if any, belief was unique to the Christian faith. They began eliminating possibilities. Incarnation? Other religions had different versions of gods appearing in human form. Resurrection? Again, other religions had accounts of return from death. The debate went on for some time until C. S. Lewis wandered into the room. “What’s the rumpus about?” he asked, and heard in reply that his colleagues were discussing Christianity’s unique contribution among world religions. Lewis responded, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s grace.” After some discussion, the conferees had to agree.

In every major religion but Christianity, in order to acquire the love of God or His favor you have to do any number of religious deeds and acts of righteousness in order to be deserving. But from the Christian worldview “grace” and “deserving” are mutually incompatible, that is they don’t mix! In the Message, a bible in laymen’s terms, it says this from the book of Ephesians ‘Saving us is all his (God’s) idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving.’

In other words we cannot do anything to deserve God’s love and favor, we cannot do anything to earn it, and we cannot pay it back. All we can do is humbly accept it. Indeed, the grace that God’s gives is truly a unique element to Christianity.

I love the message of Grace so much that I had one of my bridesmaid’s sing an a capella version of this well-known song:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T’was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxox

2 Comments to “Putting Your Foot in it!”

  1. We need grace to undo Eden, the belief that we can become like God, when we were created to “enjoy walking with God” instead. Wow.

  2. Love it Catherine. Wish I wrote it. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: