The other night some friends of ours were hanging with us at the house when I asked them this question:
“Can you remember the last time someone showed you some grace?”
I asked the question, and I’m sitting there speechless. Nothing.
After the momentary, awkward silence, we started stumbling through some pretty pathetic stories. Our minds, collectively, were drawing a blank. We knew that we had been shown grace. We just couldn’t remember it.
I noticed that as I processed the question, I remembered messing up, offending people, being mean, and needing grace. I’m sure that grace had been shown to me. I just couldn’t remember how it happened, how it was demonstrated.
On the other hand, I could remember showing grace: the decision to forgive, overlook, and let go. Those moments are easy to recall.
For our friends (and since you’re here, I’ll call you a friend too) it’s no secret that at several key points in our marriage we’ve felt the need to gain a third-party perspective from a solid, professional counselor. We’re lucky to have a phenomenal friend who is a professional counselor, who, even though he is in high-demand, has been willing to take us in, sit us down, and speak into our lives.
One of things we addressed early in our marriage was our need for grace. I had to break it to Amanda that I wasn’t the perfect husband. She was wrecked.
Ok, my wife already knew I wasn’t the perfect husband. Apparently I didn’t, though. I thought I could be the perfect husband. However, I found myself failing over and over and over and over and over again. I couldn’t get it right, not even most of the time. If our relationship was going to survive, my wife was going to have to show me scandalous amounts of grace.
During a session with our counselor-friend we were discussing that if we understood our need for grace that should, then, in turn prompt us to give more grace. There was this “AH-HA” moment when he asked us this question:
“Who notices when you give grace to each other?”
Nobody notices grace. Grace demonstrated becomes invisible.
My friends and I couldn’t remember the last time grace had been shown to us because when grace is shown it’s invisible.
Isaiah wrote of Jesus & said: “as One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we esteemed Him not” (Isaiah 53:3 ESV). Often this scripture is used to describe Jesus as ugly & unattractive. Could it be that Isaiah was saying that Jesus was invisible?
If we’re going to be like Jesus, we’re going to need to be invisible.
Obviously, grace is costly to the person dispensing it. Instead of demanding justice when there is injustice, let’s be invisible. Let’s be giant PEZ dispensers of grace (thanks, again @MikeFoster & @POTSC). Every time someone kicks our heads back, let’s respond to the injustice with the sweetness of grace … time after time.
The invisible sees the invisible. Choosing to become invisible has a certain reward to it. The reward is, however, invisible (Matthew 6:19).
Choose grace. Be invisible.