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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Measure of Grace

I have been a weepy mess this week... And it's only Tuesday. I have a very close family member who has been embroiled in a nasty legal battle brought by other members of the family. My heart has broken as I've watched her attempt to maintain a relationship that is being destroyed by greed and jealousy. Every time I think about her situation, I am reminded of the parable told to King David by Nathan the Prophet....
New International Version 1984

Nathan Rebukes David
1The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”
5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”
7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! 

I used to work in the life department of an insurance company. Time and again, I've seen family members lie, steal and cheat for as little as a few hundred dollars. The idea that someone may have no right to something, yet simply cannot stand the thought of someone else having what they cannot, is very common.  When  the possessions are divided, the money is long gone, all that remains are annihilated relationship, torn lives and broken hearts. I made the remark a couple of years ago.... "At this point, the most loving thing to do, is to facilitate a healthy relationship between these two parties so the last memories are of joy and not sorrow." Sadly,  the only thing many can facilitate is grief, because they are not happy, they prefer no one be happy.  My Pastor, whom I have so much admiration for has always said, if he erres, he wants to err on the side of grace. Grace is many things, but it is never self serving and usually always goes against our human nature. I know that if I extend grace by the measure of  grace I need, than I will be extending a LOT of grace.

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