Finding Faith: God’s grace isn’t just for you, it’s for everyone
"We’re all frayed from two years of living with anxiety, worry, division, financial concerns, employment concerns, separation from our loved ones, death and illness. And making our way back from this tender place is going to take time and intention. In other words, it’s going to take us emulating God’s lead."
The concept of God’s unending grace is a well and good concept … right up until the point where you remember that God’s grace is extended to every, single, person. Everyone.
No exclusions, despite what I might think.
I have been reminded of this often recently as I have been traveling a lot for work. So I’ve been through numerous airports, been on even more flights and endured the joyless roulette game that is air travel these days.
Worker shortages, pandemic implications, bad weather. The list of factors that is making air travel dicey nowadays is long and frustrating. Flights seem to vaporize out of nowhere. Rescheduling takes persistence and patience. And no one seems to be able (or possess the desire!) to assist you.
Then there’s endless waiting. The lines in airports. Waiting on the tarmac for a potential technical issue. Waiting for a customer service agent to call you back. Waiting, waiting, waiting.
All of this is leading to some extremely ugly behavior in the airports and on planes. There’s a great many air travelers right now who have been pushed past their breaking point, and many don’t seem to care about their behavior.
If you happen to be a fellow traveler, you sometimes are inevitably caught in the crossfire. There have been numerous times as of late in which the actions of another miserable traveler have affected me. And I’m ashamed to admit that my first reaction is to get my dander up!
Then, after a couple of deep breaths, my rational side gets the upper hand of my emotional side, and I think to myself: “From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
Note to self: God’s grace isn’t just for you, Devlyn. … It’s for every single person. No exclusions!
Being the naturally selfish people we are, it’s hard to accept that we are not the only benefactors of God’s grace. Look around you, and every single person you see receives God’s grace too.
That extremely rude person I’m eyeing down in the airport customer service line right now is also receiving God’s grace. How humbling, and how unfair! Right? … Wrong, it’s all fair because that’s God’s way: grace upon grace for everyone. No buts.
We’re all frayed from two years of living with anxiety, worry, division, financial concerns, employment concerns, separation from our loved ones, death and illness. And making our way back from this tender place is going to take time and intention.
In other words, it’s going to take us emulating God’s lead. Each of us giving each other grace upon grace. Over and over again until it sticks.
This means that the grumpy pastor standing in the airport customer service line, who just got cut off by another traveler, should remember to give the abundant grace he so cherishes from our creator. Amen.
Devlyn Brooks, who works for Modulist, a Forum Communications Co.-owned company, is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. He serves as pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minnesota. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments and story ideas.