I saw it again the other day…a couple arguing. They were not exchanging grace. I could tell from across the room that they were not talking about when they fell in love or how much they appreciate each other. They were not planning their next date night or holding hands. They were looking deeply into each others eyes, but I believe their pupils were restricted instead of relaxed. Smoke was shooting out of their ears and veins were sticking out on their necks. They looked like cartoon characters!! Maybe it was the arms waving or the tension they created…but they were arguing for sure.
It made me sad. I wanted to reach out to them, help them, or pray with them. But it was none of my business. (If you even see me arguing with the love of my life…feel free to break in with a prayer!!)
And then the coin flipped. It is much easier to help others and think about them than to experience the need for help yourself. My experience happened during a family Uno game. Uno. That’s it. Then I spoke and he spoke and I spoke and he spoke. Then the conversation quickly turned into an argument…with the children present and holding their Uno cards. We were not exchanging grace.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is a familiar verse often read at weddings. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoings, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
If grace is what we receive from Christ, then we are equipped to give grace to others…especially those we love. Yet so often, we expect grace from Christ, but are reluctant to give it to others. In writing it seems simple. In real life it is more difficult. But I guess dying on the cross is more difficult in real life too!
After things calmed down (I actually ended up winning the Uno game…but it wasn’t as much fun to win that moment.), I remembered 1 Corinthians. I remembered what it feels like to give and receive grace. I remembered that I am the only person that can change my behavior. So I read scripture with fresh eyes…
Meredith is patient and kind; she does not envy or boast; She is not arrogant or rude; Meredith does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful….
I missed the mark today, but thankfully tomorrow is a new day and my heart has been renewed through scripture. Awww…life!