The places that hold grace should be the safest places to unveil our humanity. But they usually aren't.
Jennie Allen (Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul)
For several years now, almost every Wednesday night, I meet up with a small group of women. Over time, and through our study of Scripture, we've gotten to know one another well. We're doing a book club format this month, reading through the book referenced above, Anything.
I presented them with this quote in our discussion last night. With a thankful heart, I realized we'd created a safe place like this for one another. Our small gathering, within the confines of a church who's also chasing grace, has created somewhere to unveil our humanity. I thought of others who want desperately to find a place where they can be themselves. Too often, they can't find it. A few months back, I read a book by Addie Zierman, Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark. When Addie's faith began to grow and change, she needed to talk about it. Not pretty conversations but hard ones. After reading her book, I felt compelled to invite Addie to our Bible study. I believe we should all have a group of people with whom we can be fully human. A place where grace creates a safety net for our shame and doubts.
Sometimes the best evidence I have that God loves us is simply His great tolerance for us.
We can get grace so wrong. Another black man's life is ended with a pointless shooting and suddenly everyone has an opinion with little regard for the humanity lost. Our church doors remain closed to the sick even though Jesus taught us his church is for the least of these. Thousands of people who won't even enter our doors, which are supposed to promise sanctuary. The broken. And as a friend reminded me just the other day, we're all so very broken. Groups who wear the label "church" so loosely and go in protest to the very places and events where we should be showering grace. Judgment after judgment issued on social media by people who would never dare say such vile things to a person's face.
So, this is me. I write from a very small corner of the world but I've received a huge amount of grace from a mighty big God. Spend five minutes with me and my humanity will rear its at-times ugly head. I offer up my goblet of grace, filled to overflowing, for any who thirst for a drink. In the name of Jesus. Share your humanity with me. All of it. Although you might not be able to sit down to a table every Wednesday evening like I do with a small group of women, we can exchange words here. I can pray you'd find a grace-filled people in your own community. Together in all our humanity, we can learn grace.