The movie came recommended by a friend and I watched with much anticipation. There was a scene where, after a long arduous journey through hellish conditions, everyone weary and flailing, the woman drops to the ground unable to take another step. Without missing a beat one of the men in the group scoops her up to carry her – my soul lurched within me feeling the tug of watching grace in action. There was no lecture, no motivational speech, no condemnation spoken to her broken life for being unable to do what she could not do. But an offering of help to another in their time of need. I’m undone at scenes such as this - they are so rare!
I recounted a painful story the other day and since it’s on my mind I’ll re-share here. It was the job interview turned interrogation back in 2011 because the employer required church membership and/or regular attendance and I had neither. Needless to say the interview didn’t go well and I left utterly depleted and flat on my heart, for this thing that I was raised with rearing its ugly head again is something I don’t handle well - church is where it’s at and if you’re not there, than you’re not in. Period. The message comes as divisive and ugly and cold and prejudice and…..! This junk runs deep in my veins and I’ve found that mostly people don’t understand. My drive home that day was one I will never forget – weeping from my guts. The grief is something I still cannot understand. But the best explanation I’ve got is this God in Christ I am daring to believe exists did not show Himself that day in another believer and I ached at the doubt creeping in that He doesn’t actually exist at all. Legalism kills. I’m just sayin’.
We both knew that the job was not a fit so her phone call early the next morning was a surprise. My lingering anger let it go to voicemail. You can imagine how my jaw dropped when I listened to her tell me, again, to find a church - it’s where she got healed after all. Yes. By all means. Suggest a church. Don’t offer your friendship! You can tell me about all the million ways our stories are similar and end with the dead-in-the-water suggestion of getting me into church, which is like opening a can of worms (or whoop-ass, depending on the day).
I’m still a work in progress and most of the time I’m okay with that. It’s when I meet up with someone who isn’t okay with who and where I am that I begin to doubt my entire journey. My husband tells me I’m stronger than that. I want to be. I think I am. But this deep seeded bullshit is, well, deep seeded. But I’ll tell you one thing I know for a certain fact…..experiences from my childhood and ones such as the one above, added to this God in Christ I’m daring to believe in Who smothered me with His grace when I came to Him at my worst…..they all propel me forward in offering a safe place to extend grace to another human being who has fallen, weary and flailing, unable to take another step. For I cannot in good conscience receive such grace for myself and not live my life in such a way that doesn’t splatter it onto others.