You may notice a theme in the 31 days. Grace. Is there really any other way to do church? Is there any other road by which we can travel together, unified and loving?
I used to think that grace and love where simply part of the equation and not the entire answer but I’m realizing I had it all wrong. I’m realizing that a lot in the past month.
The sum of all the other things must equal grace through love.
I have a hard bent towards justice. When my spiritual gift boxes were checked exhortation was way at the tippy- top and pointed to my desire to always uncover, always dig deeper, always long for more truth to be spoken.
But my equation never added up right. Because I always saw what needed to be changed. I always saw what needed to be confronted, but I didn’t see what needed to be restored.
The answer was always missing because you can have justice in the grand scheme of scales and rules but there is no true justice without love. Because true justice surrounds the broken ugly of the church and this world and it’s people and it longs not just for the truth to be spoken and wrongs to be righted but for mercy to step in and scoop from the devastation what is worthy to remain.
True justice drops the stones to the dusty ground and says, be clean. And I missed something because I loved the victim but not the abuser. I longed for redemption but not for everyone. And justice knows that vengeance will come but it is not ours to dole out, for if we do, are we not indicting ourselves to that same wrath? Because who can throw stones with clean hands? There is only one.
We have become a nation that doesn’t like to hear hard things and we hold strong to, “You shouldn’t judge me.”
But that’s not love either. Because I will judge. If you invite me in to your life, I will see things that cast shadow on your witness for Him, I will see things that hinder your walk and trip you up and I will weigh those things in light of the gospel and see that grace covers it but it also costs. If we claim grace, we also claim a new allegiance to holiness and hearts after Him.
So grace and love don’t back down from the things that need saying. They speak the truth, loud sometimes down to the rattling of bones but they also whisper to the flow of tears and soothe with hope and good news. And the sum of those words spoken, truth from His Word, is always grace through love.