Grace on a Plate

Grace isn’t shocking enough to make the headlines. The words that give life and breath to the panting and exhausted don’t usually get said loudly enough for the world to hear. They’re whispered, or mouthed, and seen only by several eyes. But that doesn’t make them less important or powerful.

Micha Boyett wrote wise words here after a public, unloving book critique and a soft, gracious answer to that–actually, an invitation for a meal. The result of this grace was a gentle apology, and a great illustration of how powerful mercy is.  I found these words beautiful and convicting because when I hear criticism about my book, I am carnal enough that I drafted  a scathing, frigid letter sooner than send a dinner invitation.

After Jesus’s disciples absconded, and started living as though they’d never been with Him, He pursued them, gave them a miracle at work, and cooked breakfast for them. I wish I could have been there. His grace to them that morning had to have changed them profoundly–which is what grace and mercy does in its quiet way, without headlines and hoopla.

Micah is writing about words and relationships across the internet, which is an important part of communication. But I want grace to be even more important to me in the real-time, real-life words and actions that I engage in every day, in as normal things as breakfast or dinner.

I find the Internet to be the hardest place to follow the teachings of the Sermon on the Mount. Blessed is she who has the most blog hits? Blessed is he who stands by his theological stance with the most vigor and resentment?

On the Internet, we can talk a good game about Jesus. We don’t have to know each other. We don’t have to love each other from afar. Instead we can pick on each other’s wounds and brokenness and separate ourselves into more and more theological camps. Who needs denominations? We can just align ourselves with the blogger who reads the Bible the way we do and criticizes the ones we like to criticize.

We can be a generation of sarcasm, biting, and cutting. We can roll our eyes and slam the laptop shut. Then open it up again to see if all our friends on Twitter agree.

Or, we can learn earnestness from the example of Voskamp’s genuine kindness. We are also invited to hold the gospel out. We are invited to prepare a table and set a place for the one who criticizes our lives, our beliefs, our art. We are invited to live out the blessing of Jesus:

Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.

The world does not need angry theology: it needs a true, good story. It needs the good news that God’s compassion is deep enough to rescue, to remake, to restore our broken lives.

After all, we are followers of a Messiah who said in his kingdom our job is not to win the argument: it’s to make the peace, to see God, to show mercy.

One thought on “Grace on a Plate

  1. I keep coming back again to read this… I wish I could print it out and put it in my journal, not sure if that’s legal or not? I want to highlight so much of it I don’t know where to start..

    “The words that give life and breath to the panting and exhausted don’t usually get said loudly enough for the world to hear. They’re whispered, or mouthed, and seen only by several eyes. But that doesn’t make them less important or powerful.”

    “His grace to them that morning had to have changed them profoundly–which is what grace and mercy does in its quiet way, without headlines and hoopla.”

    “The world does not need angry theology: it needs a true, good story. It needs the good news that God’s compassion is deep enough to rescue, to remake, to restore our broken lives.

    After all, we are followers of a Messiah who said in his kingdom our job is not to win the argument: it’s to make the peace, to see God, to show mercy.”

    Just yes and yes, and so much yes to that last paragraph–

    I have found it so true, sometimes being on the receiving end, and also so convicting in how I have responded too, on the whole internet/even email thing– it can become a place of venting in unhealthy and hurtful ways, ways in which we would think twice before relating in that way if we were speaking face to face. I am all for facing life honestly too, and yet under/with grace, so much grace.

    I have been profoundly impacted by my husband in this area, who I have watched time and time again respond to hurtful situations with so much grace and mercy, something I rarely saw before. In some ways it is such a quiet and hidden way of life and yet so precious and so strong, so very strong– I wish I could say Jesus is done with me in that area of my life, definitely not!!! But I am starting to catch a glimpse of the truth and life that was so aptly stated in that last paragraph, indeed Jesus’ Kingdom is beautiful!! How precious to find it so freely given to us!!

    Thank you so very much!!
    -Sherilyn

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