Monday, March 19, 2012

grace before you, mercy behind you

Go before me with your grace; follow me with your mercy.

Grace heals the paralytic.

GRACE: Pick up your mat and walk.

YOU: But I’ve never walked before.

GRACE: It doesn’t matter. You can now. Besides, even if you stumble, there is no failure I cannot ennoble. I dignify indecency, impropriety, foolishness and all manner of crudeness, rascality, and recklessness. I can redeem anyone whether scoundrel, pirate, or paralytic. Now just walk and don’t worry about how you look, heel-toe or toe-heel; put your feet on the ground and take your first step because there’s a magnificent place I want to show you.

Sometime later, the paralytic can be found walking towards her goal. She’s about 1/100th of the way there. Still a long way to go; she’s only just begun. And she trips over a pornographic magazine. She picks it up and wastes a bunch of time. While looking at it, she doesn’t realize she’s gotten turned around in the road. She starts walking the other way. Still looking at it, she bumps into someone. She looks up and sees another face. It’s Mercy, Grace’s fraternal twin brother. He says, “What are you doing?”

You stammer. He knows what you’re doing. You cry. You realize you’ve gotten turned around. You plead forgiveness. He grants it. Mercy puts you right. And Grace calls to you again.

You continue on the road. Later, you will be tempted to buy a car, hoping there’s a shortcut to get you there faster; but Grace reminds you: this is only a footpath. Now there are three things you can befriend: Grace, Mercy and time. Your new Sister and Brother are both patient.

He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake…Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. -Psalm 23:3,6

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