What does it mean to give grace?

A little while ago, I realized how weary I had become of trying to live by the law. It is an easy quagmire for Christians to get stuck in, to sucked in by. After all, we are supposed to be people who live by the truth, to live in righteousness, to hold the line of purity.

But, I realized, there are simply too many instances in the gospels when Jesus extended grace in love, rather than righteous judgement.

For now, anyway, I am going to try out erring on the side of love rather than judgment.

From the blog

Guilt

Not all the guilt we feel is ours. Often enough, we feel guilt because it gives us some sense of control over something that seems terrible to us. Then, if can only atone in some way….

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Martin Johnson Heade, Hummingbird and Passionflowers in the American Wing The Metropolitan Museum of Art for Alexis Rockman’s Artist Project 2015 episode. © 2015 MMA, photographed by Eileen Travell

Fragile

Families handled grief in all kinds of ways, but fragile irritability was often the first stop. That is, after numb shock.

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Homeless

She noticed the sticky note on the mirror, as she always did, and though the words were not from her religion, it was still comforting to know the woman who had opened her home to her was god-fearing.

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Mourn

You’re not gone you’re still here
With me all the time
You’re still here
When I close my eyes
I still see you I still feel you

Dianne Warren, Still Here

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Jealousy

She could still feel the jealousy, curling around her body, a restless snake, making her nauseous, prickling down her spine. Stifling a sob set another tight wave of pain even through her aching body.

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Hurt

He had been so eager to show off that afternoon, taking his bike over to his lover’s place. He could feel his face grow hot with the shame of it, his chest begin to ache.

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Distress

She ducked her head down. He did not need her crying, he needed her hope, her can-do, he needed the mamá who had cheered at all his home games, who had thrown him a giant party when he graduated, who made over every new job.

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Pressure

There was a chorus of “dad! dad!” from inside, then the snick of the lock and the door yanked open. They threw themselves on him, knocking his phone down as he patted their heads,

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Stumble

But she couldn’t sleep. The bed spun. She felt woozy and nauseous. Too tired. Too wired. And all she could think about was the line of pain going up her neck and driving its spike into her head.

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Ache

“I’ve had a hard time with some of my fellow Christians,” he said softly. “It’s hard not to build up a wall. But I’ve met some really great believers, too. They don’t all agree with me about stuff. But they love me.”

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Changes

“Aren’t you, like, a Christian?” It was making no sense. He took his glasses off and rubbed his eyes, as though that might help. “I mean, aren’t there rules, or something?”

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Lonely

He flipped through all the chats he had already seen, familiar dark dread narrowing his windpipe, stinging his eyes, aching through his back and neck. Why was he such a failure at connecting with people?

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Overwhelmed

She nodded, but clenched her teeth. The room seemed to grow dim, as though someone had lowered the lights and muffled the sounds. She needed to go—somewhere else, anywhere else—so she got back up and walked out the door.

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Numb

She felt neither alarm nor even wonder. It simply was. Her body was there, doing what little it could for the inconsolable. And she was here, a dispassionate observer.

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About Me

My passion for the Bible began when I was eight or nine years old, somewhere in there, when on occasion my dad would take me to synagogue, where he sang. I remember watching the men in synagogue pray the words of scripture, murmuring and weeping, lovingly touching and kissing the Torah, and I wished I could read what they were reading.

Imagine, then, my wonder when I was given a Bible of my own! Read more

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