How clueless I am–still–about the Big Things and the Little Details of this life in Christ we share. A shudder of a thought just now, a cold shiver. Tonight, out of nowhere, the workings of Grace suddenly seemed too alien to hold in mind.
Here’s the twist. Even though I know I’m clueless about grace, I don’t feel clueless most of the time. With sixty four years in the rear view, the last ten in Christ, my conscious mind is sticking with the story that things have never been clearer. You’re looking at the world from an optimum vantage point, says me to me, given the givens, factoring in the childhood, the blankness, the hurt coming in you couldn’t stop and the hurt going out you didn’t stop. You are under grace, and home free…And really, that one little habit, the one you’ve left off of prayer requests…
You see the problem?
I”m still trying to negotiate a plea deal long after the trial is over.
As a Christian, if I shut my eyes and concentrate for a minute, I can usually manage some passable description of Sin–that which is contrary to God’s nature–but Grace, what it is and how it works, that eludes my thought entirely. Yet it is on His grace that I depend absolutely.
Grace seems sometimes like a permeating force, a spiritual gravity, and with the same side effect; panicked images of free fall from unnatural heights. Grace keeps me from the ledge, but not from the impulse to jump.
How common is this, I wonder? The doctrinal acceptance of Christ and forgiveness but with lingering images of our own soiled nature. Even after, and despite, genuine moments with of communion with Christ, of the pure ecstasy of His presence, moments sordid and ugly rise in my mind, and the whisper, He could never love you…look what you did…filth encrusted soul, a lifetime of sin… It is in a state of mind like this that I fear–a terror–that I will reject Christ, tear myself away from his embrace, from sheer wretched self loathing.
As if I would keep Him clean by removing the rubbish of my life from His sight.
And that, dear friends, is as silly as it is sacrilegious, a fantasy of a crippled, self-referent mind. The Power to effect is all His. He had made promises that cannot be broken. He has taken me in, and no one can pry me from His hand. I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, and I am under Grace.
Whatever that can possibly mean.