Footnotes of Grace

It has been awhile since I had a good rant, and it saddens me. What’s the point of being raised as a fundamentalist if I can’t stuff lesser beings into a verbal piñata, and beat the ever living crap out of them? What is left to live for? Being meek and mild? Boring.


At different times over the life of this blog, I’ve taken aim at a number of Christian targets. I’ve torn apart the ethos of schools, radio stations, and churches. Every once in a while I’ve hit a button and offended someone, but I’ve tried to drag myself into this courtroom just as much as anything else.

What I haven’t regularly sent out into cyberspace are the little bits of information that might have shed a more positive light on otherwise bleak and foggy storyscapes.

When I attended a Christian boarding school, for instance, there was one teacher that pulled me aside between classes, looked into my eyes, and asked me if I was okay. Like I said in “Rules are Rules” I was far from okay, but this little act of compassion got me through another day. He and a handful of other teachers cut through my haze of depression with a lighthouse of kindness, but it was always the smallest gestures that burned brightest.

flowerLike this blog, “the good” often seems like the small print at the bottom of the pages of our lives. Grace is easily dismissed as we turn to another chapter full of pain, injustice and failure, or just bland busyness. If our world is paved with hopelessness, then the good is found in the cracks, growing like an impossible flower. If you drive by in a fit of rage you may not see it, but it’s there.

It was there in church this morning, and I was blessed by it.

I love church, but often find it overwhelming. Shaking hands and keeping conversations polite and sterile do nothing for me. So I was sitting in my chair waiting for the service to start today, when I felt my shoulder being squeezed. I turned around and shared a drive-by smile with one of the pastors, who was on his way to preach. It was a busy morning for him, but not so hectic that he couldn’t reach out to let me know that I mattered.

To him it was nothing – a footnote in the annals of his ministry. It was more than that to me, and I daresay it had more eternal value than much of what we so erringly call fellowship.

Today, I want you to know that you are more than a footnote in the pages of Christendom. Overwhelmed by life, or religion, or sin, or kids, or being single, or God-knows-what, you may feel insignificant but it’s a lie. Your small acts of grace have saved a life, made someone smile, given joy, and calmed a troubled spirit. I know, because in turn it has been my life saved, my smile, my joy, and my spirit.

When Jesus died the curtain in the Jewish Temple that separated God from his people was torn in two, from top to bottom. But it started with one thread. Today you may be that thread in someone’s life; your brokenness allowing God to enter someone else’s world.

On their behalf, thank you.

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NIV)

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