Thursday, December 17, 2009

Undeserved Gifts

Have you ever criticized someone only to realize after the fact that there was a reason for their behavior? And then felt like a monster for being too hard on the person? Well, I have.
Have you ever rolled your eyes or dug in your heals or chosen sarcasm or silence when someone disappointed you to find out later that there was pain in their life that made pleasing you just too difficult? And realized that your gentleness and grace would have soothed a wound and instead you created a new one?
I have.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of impatience or anger and thought, "If you knew what I was going through, you wouldn't do this to me." I have. Have you ever just been too worn out and sad to explain yourself so you just took the assault and sunk a little lower? I have.
I'm trying to remove myself from this cycle of giving and receiving hurt by withholding grace. I've come to understand that on my part, I am deciding whether or not someone deserves my grace or my boot heel. How sinful my heart can be. There is no deserving grace, or mercy for that matter. How dare I dole it out as though able to judge those who should be comforted and those who should be...discomforted.
When I am vulnerable and weak I need to take responsibility for myself and give some explanation for myself, even if it's simply to say that I'm having a bad day and please excuse me. Of course, I cannot have a year's worth of bad days to excuse continuous bad behavior and attitude!
When I play the part of the bearer of grace, I must give it open-handedly. As though I've got all the mercies of heaven at my fingertips, I will cover your wounds with kindness.
Because in fact, do I not have all the mercies of heaven already applied to my own wounds?
It is not giving, only sharing what I've been given.
Without deserving, just as I have received.


Margie said...

I HAVE!!! I loved this... that is something that I am trying to teach Phyllis and myself!!!

Louise said...

Excellent. I so needed to read this. Thank you.