VOICES OF THE GRACE MOB :: GRACE THAT COVERS ALL
Posted by Larry Kozlof:
Can you imagine a world where every living person had to carry with them a list of mistakes they have made? Whether it be moral issues, spiritual misadventures, physical offenses, emotional turmoil or any other situation that someone would deem inappropriate. This could be a huge list for any one of us because what might be immoral for me, may not be for another, but you would have to carry it on your list because I find it offensive in some way. My list would be pages of discrepancies, sins, bad judgments and offending moments.
Can you imagine a world where we had to wear our thoughts on our sleeves? People could see our judgments of others as we pass by them, they would know how we see ourselves, and they would never have to imagine what we thought of them. It would also mean that we would not have opportunity to rethink our initial impression of others.
We don’t live in that kind of a world, one that may be best suited in a supernatural thriller with a big brother based plot line. We don’t see into peoples lives unless they allow us too, and unfortunately we sometimes take that opportunity to cast judgment on others and lower them to a place that we have reserved for people we want nothing to do with. And people have at times done this with our lives as well.
At times in our history there have been some incredible people who have questioned the systems that have been established. Systems that say you are better then me because of your income level or your childhood advantages. Systems that differentiate criminals from innocents, offenders from the offended, even sick from healthy. They have questioned the path we have outlined of raising some people to an upper echelon and leaving others in sub par levels where only those who appear equal will connect with them.
They did this through grace.
They entered hospitals, prisons, back alleys, school yards, office buildings and every where in between with a message of, “our lives are equal because grace covers all.”
This has really taken a hold of me lately for one reason. My past. I saw some things when I was younger and experienced other things that some of you never have. And through it all I have come out apparently well adjusted. I see people who have lived a life just like mine and they are often full of anger, hatred, vengeance and self pity. They are unfulfilled, ungrateful, selfish and have a strong desire to be empowered but not to empower others.
The difference is grace.
At some point in my childhood I recognized that people cared about me, wanted the best for me and were willing to treat me as a normal everyday person, regardless of my families economic class, my health issues and my social awkwardness. They still wanted me in their lives. And without knowing it, grace entered their lives and covered mine.
Years later I encountered grace head on, stared it down and was overwhelmed by how amazing it actually is. Then I made a decision, if grace is so amazing, if it truly does cover all, it can cover my past. Now in my thirties I am only starting to understand the full realm of it. Grace can cover not just sin as the bible says, but your past, and in covering your past, removes it from your future. You can still learn from your past and the mistakes you made, but grace is so amazing and beautiful that it can encompass all you have experienced and not allow it to dictate who you are now.
Grace allowed me to be well adjusted, it covered all.
As I enjoy the vast expanse that is grace, I am compelled by it now to extend grace to others. To not look at the bad choices they made, but to see them as a person who is just as much in need of grace as I was and am. I am moved by the grace that covers my life, to help see others that their lives can be covered by grace as well.
Grace has taken what was my life, where I was headed, full of anger and hatred, and led me to a place where I desire to spread hope to the hopeless, to love the unlovable and to level the playing field with grace, to create an atmosphere where all people are equal, because grace does cover all.
How does this translate into an application that can bring a realization that what you have experienced is not who you are? Have you ever felt guilty for telling a lie to your parents? For stealing a chocolate bar from a store? For turning your back on friends in a time of need? For stealing your friends girl/boy friend? Felt used or useless because of past abuse? Been the victim of violence or some form of hatred? Ever felt as though you just can’t go on because of your past? If you allow grace to enter your life, you do not have to be subject to the slavery and dysfunction of past mistakes and events in your life.
Grace does truly cover all, giving you a fresh start and a hope for better things and brighter days. Grace is the one event/action/emotion/conveyed experience that can give you a new outlook on your life and towards others.
Let grace cover all that you have been, and then see who you can be.