It was an usually temperate fall day. I pulled up to a 2-way stop at a busy intersection, the clicking of my right blinker and Hermie’s Scripture Memory Songs the only sounds in my car. I was off to begin a morning of errands about town. Cars to my left and right were flying by. Opposite me was a lady with a grandchild in the front seat trying to turn left.
It can be a dangerous intersection, as history has shown. There was no doubt she was there first, so I waited, giving her plenty of opportunity to turn. But she delayed. She raised her hand as if to ask, “What’s going on?” I kindly waved her on, thinking I was doing something nice . . . not to mention following the law. She started, then hesitated. Then obviously perturbed, she proceeded to turn and threw up her arm in the air at me in disgust.
I was tempted to get angry. I was tempted to spat back, “Ok, lady . . .” passing judgement on her unmerited rudeness. After all, I didn’t speed up, take the right-of-way or cut her off. I patiently waited for her at what I know can be a trying intersection. And here she was disgusted, not only that I obeyed the law, but that I yielded to her. Confusing . . . and irritating.
But then the Spirit called me to stop judgement. Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe a person who responds so rudely should be pitied. Maybe . . .
Then about half a mile down the road, she turned.
And that was when I knew. She turned into the hospital. I don’t know why she was going there, maybe to visit the parent of the child. Maybe to an appointment for the child without a parent. More maybe’s.
No matter what the situation, I needed to offer grace to that woman driver. Grace. Unmerited, undeserved favor. Grace to overlook a rude behavior and extend an exemption.
Let’s face it. If you’re heading to the hospital, you’re probably in need of a little grace. But the truth is that we are all in need of grace.
From each other. And most importantly, from God.
We are undeserving of God’s love and favor. We are sinners, falling short of the standard (Romans 3:23). But in spite of the fact that we are undeserving, God loves us and sent Jesus to pay our price for sin (Romans 5:8).
Grace has often been defined in the Christian world as God’s Redeeming Act at Christ’s Expense. Redemption isn’t something you can earn. It isn’t something you can deserve. It is a free gift. Salvation by faith through grace.
I am undeserving. But He gave anyway. I am unqualified. But He saved anyway. That is grace. God’s most amazing and wonderful grace.
How about you? Are you in need of God’s grace? Who can you extend grace to today?