What I Remember

I ran.  I ran for my life knowing that if I didn’t get away I was dead.  But I wasn’t fast enough.  My escape route was blocked by a set of stairs that were quite steep.  The predator behind me caught my foot and I fell down hard.  The beating that caused me to run in the first place continued until I began to laugh.  My adversary stopped, shocked to hear this sound coming from me.

“Why are you laughing?” He demanded to know.

“You told me to never cry, daddy.”  I was six years old.

I have no memory of the beatings that I experienced as a child, save this one.  And, though it may seem untrue.  I don’t remember them because I have forgiven my father for the things he did.  I think I hold on to this one memory to remind me of what once was that has now been obliterated by God’s grace.

I have heard so much of how the church is failing in its mission to the world.  How hateful and ruined christians are.  How much damage we bring to the name of Jesus by our hypocrisy and condemnation of all that is sinful in the world, our intolerance and bigotry.  And there is so much truth in what is said, so many ways that we have failed.

Forgiveness.

Grace.

Love.

What Jesus accomplished on the cross was complete in its payment for every sin, every wrong that has ever or will ever happen.  His mercy extends to the arrogance of kings and the cruelty of despots.  His love and sacrifice covers my addictions and weakness as much as it covers those of a prostitute on the streets of Los Angeles.  He declared, “IT IS FINISHED.”  And He meant it.

It is enough to allow me to forgive the wrongs done to me.  It is enough for me to extend grace for where you are weak and fail.  It is enough for me to see my world through the eyes of His love.

Is it enough for you?

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